Most Important Government Schemes 2024

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Most Important Government Schemes 2024

In the realm of UPSC Examination, Government Schemes hold a pivotal position. They are not merely policies etched on paper; rather, they represent the proactive measures taken by the government to address pressing societal issues and foster inclusive growth. With the UPSC Syllabus encompassing a wide array of topics ranging from governance to social justice, an in-depth comprehension of these schemes becomes indispensable.

This blog aims to serve as your trusted guide, unraveling the enigma surrounding Government Schemes and equipping you with the knowledge necessary to ace the UPSC examination.

Schemes For Farmers

1. Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

About

  • AIF is a financing facility launched in July 2020.
  • It aims to provide all-around financial support to the farmers, Agri-entrepreneurs, farmer groups like Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLGs), etc., and many others to create post-harvest management infrastructure and build community farming assets throughout the country.

Features

  • AIF provides support of 3% interest subvention, credit guarantee support through the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for loans of up to Rs. 2 crore, and facility of convergence with other Central and State Government schemes.
  • AIF is helping to reduce post-harvest losses by creating and modernizing agriculture infrastructure, which includes primary processing centers for vegetables, and hi-tech hubs for the rental of agricultural machinery.

Management

  • The fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform. It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for loans under the Fund.
  • The National, State and District level monitoring committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feed-back.

What is Post Harvest Management?

  • Post-harvest management refers to the activities and techniques used to preserve and protect crops after they have been harvested.
  • This includes activities such as cleaning, sorting, grading, packaging, storage, and transportation.
  • The goal of post-harvest management is to maintain the quality and safety of the crops, as well as to extend their shelf life, so that they can be sold and consumed at a later time.

Challenges

  • Lack of Convenient Access to Credit: A convenient line of credit is not available to small and marginal farms. As per the NABARD 2018 survey, farmers with smaller plot sizes took a greater share of loans from the non-institutional lenders than did farmers with larger plot sizes (> 2 hectares). This indicates that more small and marginal farmers rely on (expensive) informal sources of credit than large ones.
  • Stubble Burning: The problem of ‘on-farm’ burning or stubble burning is intensifying in recent years due to shortage of human labour, high cost of removing the crop residue from the field and mechanised harvesting of crops, contributing majorly to air pollution in Northern India.
  • Infrastructure Bottlenecks: More than 30% of the produce from farm gate is lost due to inadequate cold chain infrastructure.
  • The NITI Aayog cited a study that estimated annual post-harvest losses close to Rs 90,000 crore.
  • Lack of all-weather roads and connectivity make supply erratic.

2. Kisan Credit Cards

About

  • The scheme was introduced in 1998 for providing adequate and timely credit support from the banking system, under a single window with flexible and simplified procedure to the farmers for their cultivation and other needs like purchase of agriculture inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc. and draw cash for their production needs.
  • The scheme was further extended for the investment credit requirement of farmers viz. allied and non-farm activities in the year 2004.
  • In the Budget-2018-19, government announced the extension of the facility of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to help them to meet their working capital needs.

Implementing Agencies

  • Commercial Banks
  • Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)
  • Small Finance Banks
  • Cooperatives

Features

  • The scheme comes with an ATM-enabled RuPay debit card with facilities for one-time documentation, built-in cost escalation in the limit, and any number of drawals within the limit.
  • Besides ensuring saturation, banks will also be taking steps to link Aadhaar immediately as no interest subvention will be given if the Aadhaar numbers are not seeded to KCC accounts.
  • Also, the government has taken several initiatives for KCC saturation which include adding farmers engaged in animal husbandry and fisheries, no processing fee of loan under KCC and raising the limit of collateral free agriculture loan from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs.1.6 lakh.
  • The KCC facility will help fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to meet their short-term credit requirements of rearing of animals, poultry birds, fish, shrimp, other aquatic organisms and capture of fish.

Objectives

  • To meet the short term credit requirements for cultivation of crops.
  • Post-harvest expenses.
  • Produce marketing loan.
  • Consumption requirements of farmer households.
  • Working capital for maintenance of farm assets and activities allied to agriculture.
  • Investment credit requirement for agriculture and allied activities.

Financial Provisions

  • To ensure availability of agricultural credit at a reasonable cost of 7% per annum to farmers.
  • The government of India implements an interest subvention scheme of 2% for short-term crop loans up to Rs. 3 lakh.
  • In addition, the GOI provides interest subvention of 2% and prompt repayment incentive of 3% to the farmers.

What are the Achievements of KCC

  • As of June 2020, around 25 lakh applications have been sanctioned for Nationwide Fishery KCC.
  • As part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Package, the Government has announced to cover 2.5 crore farmers under the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme with a credit boost of Rs. 2 lakh crores through a special saturation drive.
  • As a result of concerted efforts, a major milestone target of covering more than 1.5 crore farmers under KCC, with a sanctioned credit limit of Rs. 1.35 lakh crore has been achieved.

How is KCC Misused

  • Credit is often being transferred towards financially well-off people.
  • Funds are diverted to non-agricultural use:
    • Investment in Real Estate
    • Purchase of Vehicles
    • Higher Education of children in foreign countries
  • Quantum of land is inflated to avail higher credit.
  • KCC route is used for money laundering.

3. Krishi UDAN scheme

About

  • Krishi UDAN was launched in August 2020, on international and national routes to assist farmers in transporting agricultural products so that it improves their value realisation.
  • Krishi UDAN 2.0 will focus on transporting perishable food products from the hilly areas, northeastern states and tribal areas.
  • It will be implemented at 53 airports across the country mainly focusing on northeast and tribal regions and is likely to benefit farmers, freight forwarders and airlines.
  • Opted airports not only provide access to regional domestic markets but also connect them to international gateways of the country.

Main Features

Waiver

Facilitate and incentivize movement of agri-produce by air transportation by giving a full waiver of landing, parking, Terminal Navigation and Landing Charges and Route Navigation Facilities Charges for domestic airlines.

Hub and Spoke Model

  • Strengthen Cargo related infrastructure at airports and off airports by facilitating the development of a hub and spoke model and a freight grid.
  • The hub and spoke model refers to a distribution method in which a centralized “hub” exists.

Resource Pooling:

  • Resources-Pooling through establishing a convergence mechanism i.e. collaboration with other government departments and regulatory bodies.
  • It will provide freight forwarders, airlines and other stakeholders with Incentives and concessions to enhance air transportation of Agri-produce.

E-KUSHAL

  • An online platform named E-KUSHAL (Krishi Udaan for Sustainable Holistic Agri-Logistics) would also be developed to facilitate information dissemination to all stakeholders regarding the transportation of agricultural produce.
  • The ministry has also proposed convergence of E-KUSHAL with the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM).

Expected Benefits:

New Avenues of Growth for Agriculture:

This scheme will open up new avenues of growth for the agriculture sector and help attain the goal of doubling farmers’ income by removing barriers in supply chain, logistics and transportation of farm produce.

Decrease Food Wastes:

It will help solve the problem of wastage of agricultural food wastes in the country.

4. Namo Drone Didi

About

  • NAMO Drone Didi — an initiative that aims to supply drones to 15,000 women Self Help Groups (SHGs) to rent to farmers for agriculture purposes.
  • This multifaceted scheme effectively addresses the need to modernize our agricultural practices and increase agricultural productivity by placing cutting-edge technology in the hands of rural women.
  • This makes them the epicenter of the rural economy, spearheading the new agricultural revolution.
  • The scheme also opens up new opportunities for the country’s young and dynamic start-ups to enter the emerging field of drone aeronautics, which has huge untapped potential.
  • The scheme approves holistic interventions by converging the resources and efforts of the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Department of Rural Development (DoRD) Department of Fertilizers (DoF), Women SHGs, and Lead Fertilizer Companies (LFCs).
  • It is envisaged that the approved initiatives under the scheme will provide sustainable business and livelihood support to 15,000 SHGs and they would be able to earn additional income of at least Rs. One lakh per annum.

Financial assistance

  • Central Financial Assistance covering 80% of drone costs up to a maximum of Rs. 8 Lakh will be provided.
  •  The remaining amount can be raised through the National Agriculture Infra Financing Facility (AIF) with a provision of interest subvention @ 3% on the AIF loan.

Training

  • One of the members of SHGs will be trained in drone piloting skills and agriculture purposes of nutrient and pesticide application.
  • Another member will be trained as a drone technician. This will allow them to not just operate the drone but also repair and maintain it.

What are the benefits of the NAMO Drone Didi Scheme?

  • Empowerment of Rural Women: It enables women’s Self-Help Groups, to rent these drones to farmers for agricultural purposes, thus playing a key role in rural economies.
  • Modernizing Agriculture: It introduces advanced technology in agriculture. For example, the use of drones for the foliar application of innovative liquid fertilizers like Nano Urea and Nano DAP.
  • Employment Opportunities: Creates jobs for rural women in drone operation and maintenance, supporting the government’s push for indigenous drone aeronautics development.
  • Safety and Efficiency in Farming: Replaces traditional, hazardous methods like hand-held pumps for spraying pesticides and fertilizers, reducing risks and increasing efficiency. This will enhance crop yield and reduce cost of operation for the benefit of farmers.
  • Reduced Physical Hardship for Farmers: The use of drones for agricultural tasks alleviates the physical strain traditionally associated with farming activities.

Promotion of Nano Fertilizers:

  • LFCs will also promote the use of Nano Fertilizers, such as Nano Urea and Nano DAP, through drones. SHGs will provide drone services to farmers for the application of Nano fertilizers and pesticides.
  • The emergence of innovative new liquid fertilizers has generated the need for the development of an efficient fertigation system.
  • Though India is the second-largest producer of fertilizers, it is also the second-largest importer due to inadequate availability of natural resources — gas, phosphatic and potassic minerals, etc.
  • To overcome this dependence on imports, the government has facilitated the revival of several closed-down fertilizer units and encouraged the setting up of new units under the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme.
  • These steps have successfully protected Indian farmers from the price volatility of fertilizers in the international markets.
  • Through fertilizer subsidies, the government has been able to ensure that adequate quantities of fertilizer are made available to farmers at the right price at the right time.
  • Fertilizer prices soared the world over to unprecedented levels. We decided to convert these challenges into opportunities.
  • The government encouraged indigenous research for the development of alternate fertilizers, the outcome of which is the path-breaking liquid nano fertilizer.
  • The next challenge after this new invention was to develop an efficient fertigation system. That is where the emerging drone technology provided an answer.

5. Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana

  • In 2016, MoFPI introduced an umbrella Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters or SAMPADA, which was proposed to be implemented with an allocation of ₹6,000 crores for the period of 2016-20.
  • In 2017, SAMPADA was renamed as the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY).
  • It is a Central Sector Scheme.

Objectives:

  • To supplement agriculture.
  • To create processing and preservation capacities.
  • To modernise and expand existing food processing units with a view to increasing the level of processing.
  • To add value leading to the reduction of wastage.

Seven Component Schemes under PMKSY:

  • Mega Food Parks.
  • Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Clusters.
  • Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages.
  • Creation/Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities.
  • Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure.
  • Human Resources and Institutions.

Under PMKSY, capital subsidy in the form of grants-in-aid ranging from 35% to 75% of the eligible project cost subject to a maximum specified limit is provided to investors under the various schemes for undertaking infrastructure, logistic projects and setting up of food processing units in the country.

6. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY)

About

Government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY) to provide social security to Small and Marginal Farmers in their old age when they have no means of livelihood and minimal or no savings to take care of their expenses.

Benefits

  • Under this scheme, a minimum fixed pension of Rs.3,000/- is provided to the small and marginal farmers, subject to certain exclusion criteria, on attaining the age of 60 years. It is a voluntary and contributory pension
  • The eligible farmer is required to contribute to a Pension Fund between 55 to Rs.200 per month depending on the entry age.
  • The Central Government also contributes in equal amount to the Pension Fund.

Salient Features of the Scheme

  • The scheme is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years.
  • monthly pension of Rs. 3000/– will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The farmers will have to make a monthly contribution of Rs.55 to Rs.200, depending on their age of entry, in the Pension Fund till they reach the retirement date i.e. the age of 60 years.
  • The Central Government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund.
  • The spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs.3000/- upon making separate contributions to the Fund.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension payout.
  • In case of death of the farmer before retirement date, the spouse may continue in the scheme by paying the remaining contributions till the remaining age of the deceased farmer.
  • If the spouse does not wish to continue, the total contribution made by the farmer along with interest will be paid to the spouse.
  • If there is no spouse, then total contribution along with interest will be paid to the nominee.
  • If the farmer dies after the retirement date, the spouse will receive 50% of the pension as Family Pension.
  • After the death of both the farmer and the spouse, the accumulated corpus shall be credited back to the Pension Fund.
  • The beneficiaries may opt voluntarily to exit the Scheme after a minimum period of 5 years of regular contributions.
  • On exit, their entire contribution shall be returned by LIC with an interest equivalent to prevailing saving bank rates.
  • The farmers, who are also beneficiaries of PM-Kisan Scheme, will have the option to allow their contribution debited from the benefit of that Scheme directly.
  • In case of default in making regular contributions, the beneficiaries are allowed to regularize the contributions by paying the outstanding dues along with prescribed interest.

Need for and Significance of the Scheme

  • It is expected that at least 10 crore laborers and workers in the unorganized sector will avail the benefit of the scheme within next five years making it one of the largest pension schemes of the world.
  • Eligibility
  1. Small and Marginal Farmer (SMF) – a farmer who owns cultivable land upto 2 hectare as per land records of the concerned State/UT.
  2. Age of 18- 40 years

Farmers who are not Eligible for the Scheme

The following categories of farmers have been brought under the exclusion criteria.

  • SMFs covered under any other statuary social security schemes such as National Pension Scheme (NPS), Employees’ State Insurance Corporation scheme, Employees’ Fund Organization Scheme, etc.
  • Farmers who have opted for Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan Dhan Yojana (PM-SYM) administered by the Ministry of Labour & Employment
  • Farmers who have opted for Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-dhan Yojana (PM-LVM) administered by the Ministry of Labour & Employment

Further, the following categories of beneficiaries of higher economic status shall not be eligible for benefits under the scheme:

  1. All Institutional Landholders; and
  2. Former and present holders of constitutional posts
  3. Former and present Ministers/ State Ministers and former/present Members of Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha/ State Legislative Assemblies/ State Legislative Councils, former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporations, former and present Chairpersons of District Panchayats.
  4. All serving or retired officers and employees of Central/ State Government Ministries/ Offices/Departments and their field units, Central or State PSEs and Attached offices/ Autonomous Institutions under Government as well as regular employees of the Local Bodies (Excluding Multi Tasking Staff / Class IV/Group D employees)
  5. All Persons who paid Income Tax in last assessment year.
  6. Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with Professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking the practice.

7. Soil Health Card Scheme

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare introduced the scheme on December 5, 2015.
  • Soil Health Card (SHC) is a printed report which contains nutrient status of soil with respect to 12 nutrients: pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Organic Carbon (OC), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Sulphur (S), Zinc (Zn), Boron (B), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn) and Copper (Cu) of farm holdings.
  • SHC is provided to all farmers in the country at an interval of 3 years to enable the farmers to apply recommended doses of nutrients based on soil test values to realize improved and sustainable soil health and fertility, low costs and higher profits. Farmers can track their soil samples and also obtain their Soil Health Card report.
  • It is a field-specific detailed report of soil fertility status and other important soil parameters that affect crop productivity.

Objectives of the SHC Scheme

  • To improve soil quality and profitability of farmers.
  • Employment generation for rural youth.
  • To update information on soil analysis.
  • To provide soil testing facilities to farmers at their doorstep.

Soil Testing Norms

  • Soil samples are drawn in a grid of 2.5 ha in irrigated areas and 10 ha in rain-fed areas with the help of the Global Positioning System (GPS) tools and revenue maps.
  • Soil samples are processed through standard procedures and analysed for the above mentioned 12 parameters.
  • The State Government will collect samples through the staff of their Department of Agriculture or through the staff of an outsourced agency. The State Government may also involve the students of local Agriculture/Science Colleges.
  • Soil Samples are collected generally two times in a year, after harvesting of Rabi and Kharif Crop respectively or when there is no standing crop in the field.

 Significance

  • Insufficiency of Nutrients: The government launched the SHC scheme as an initiative to curb the overuse of urea or nitrogenous fertilisers causing a deficiency of nutrients in soil like potassium, nitrogen, Sulphur, zinc, boron, copper and phosphorus.
  • Soil Productivity: Farmers can assess and raise the soil and crop productivity using key inputs from the card that carries crop-wise recommendations and other physical parameters of fertilisers and nutrients required for farm lands.
  • Increase in Soil Fertility: With the help of the SHC, farmers can improve integrated nutrient management by judiciously using the soil nutrients. After getting SHC farmers have reduced N, P and K use, especially nitrogen use and increased the use of micronutrients which helped them to increase fertility.
  • Crop-wise Guidance: It is a field-specific report that helps the farmers to receive crop-wise recommendations of required fertilisers and nutrients in each type of soil.
  • Fertiliser Based Recommendations: SHC offers two sets of fertiliser recommendations for six crops, including recommendations for organic manures.

Drawbacks Associated with SHC

  • Inadequate Understanding: Many farmers are unable to understand the content, hence unable to follow the recommended practices.
  • Issues in Collecting Variable Samples: The Number of soil samples per unit area are not based on soil variability.
  • Concerns Regarding Coordination: Lack of Coordination among agricultural extension officers and farmers.
  • Lack of Important Aspects: Soil health card does not include essential characteristics like moisture retention and microbial activity.
  • Equal Attentiveness: The soil health card is more focused on chemical nutrient indicators; among physical and biological properties only soil colour is included.
  • Exclusion of Important Aspects: Some important indicators are not included in this scheme such as:
    • cropping history,
    • water resources (soil moisture),
    • slope of soil,
    • depth of soil,
    • colour of soil,
    • soil texture (bulk density) and
    • Micro-biological activity etc are not included.
    • Inadequate soil testing infrastructure.

8. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) 

A traditional farming improvement programme. It is an extended component of Soil Health Management (SHM) under the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture

Funding pattern

The funding pattern under the scheme is in the ratio of 60:40 by the Central and State Governments respectively. In the case of North Eastern and the Himalayan States, Central Assistance is provided in the ratio of 90:10 (Centre: State).

Objectives

The objective is to produce agricultural products free from chemicals and pesticides residues by adopting eco-friendly, low- cost technologies.

 Key Thrust areas of PKVY in promoting organic farming include the following:

  • Promote organic farming among rural youth/ farmers/ consumers/ traders
  • Disseminate the latest technologies in organic farming
  • Utilize the services of experts from the public agricultural research system in India
  • Organize a minimum of one cluster demonstration in a village

9. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)

Introduction

  • Out of about 141 m.Ha of net area sown in the country, about 65 million hectare (or 45%) is presently covered under irrigation.
  • Substantial dependency on rainfall makes cultivation in unirrigated areas a high risk, less productive profession.
  • Empirical evidences suggest that assured or protective irrigation encourages farmers to invest more in farming technology and inputs leading to productivity enhancement and increased farm income.
  • The overreaching vision of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) is to ensure access to some means of protective irrigation to all agricultural farms in the country, to produce ‘per drop more crop’, thus bringing much desired rural prosperity.

Objectives of PMKSY

  • Achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level (preparation of district level and, if required, sub district level water use plans).
  • Enhance the physical access of water on the farm and expand cultivable area under assured irrigation (Har Khet ko pani).
  • Integration of water source, distribution and its efficient use, to make best use of water through appropriate technologies and practices.
  • Improve on – farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage and increase availability both in duration and extent.
  • Enhance the adoption of precision – irrigation and other water saving technologies (More crop per drop).
  • Enhance recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices.
  • Ensure the integrated development of rainfed areas using the watershed approach towards soil and water conservation, regeneration of ground water, arresting runoff, providing livelihood options and other NRM activities.
  • Promote extension activities relating to water harvesting, water management and crop alignment for farmers and grass root level field functionaries.
  • Explore the feasibility of reusing treated municipal waste water for peri – urban agriculture.
  • Attract greater private investments in irrigation.

Programme Components

Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP)

To focus on faster completion of ongoing Major and Medium Irrigation including National Projects.

 PMKSY (Har Khet ko Pani)

  1. Creation of new water sources through Minor Irrigation (both surface and ground water)
  2. Repair, restoration and renovation of water bodies; strengthening carrying capacity of traditional water sources, construction rain water harvesting structures (Jal Sanchay);
  3. Command area development, strengthening and creation of distribution network from source to the farm.
  4. Ground water development in the areas where it is abundant, so that sink is created to store runoff/ flood water during peak rainy season.
  5. Improvement in water management and distribution system for water bodies to take advantage of the available source which is not tapped to its fullest capacity (deriving benefits from low hanging fruits)
  6. At least 10% of the command area to be covered under micro/precision irrigation
  7. Diversion of water from source of different location where it is plenty to nearby water scarce areas, lift irrigation from water bodies/rivers at lower elevation to supplement requirements beyond IWMP and MGNREGS irrespective of irrigation command.
  8. Creating and rejuvenating traditional water storage systems like Jal Mandir (Gujarat); Khatri, Kuhl (H.P.); Zabo (Nagaland); Eri, Ooranis (T.N.); Dongs (Assam); Katas, Bandhas (Odisha and M.P.) etc. at feasible locations.

 PMKSY (Per Drop More Crop)

  • Programme management, preparation of State/District Irrigation Plan, approval of annual action plan, Monitoring etc.
  • Promoting efficient water conveyance and precision water application devices like drips, sprinklers, pivots, rain – guns in the farm (Jal Sinchan);
  • Topping up of input cost particularly under civil construction beyond permissible limit (40%), under MGNREGS for activities like lining inlet, outlet, silt traps, distribution system etc.
  • Construction of micro irrigation structures to supplement source creation activities including tube wells and dug wells (in areas where ground water is available and not under semi critical /critical /over exploited category of development) which are not supported under AIBP, PMKSY (Har Khet ko Pani), PMKSY (Watershed) and MGNREGS a s per block/district irrigation plan.
  • Secondary storage structures at tail end of canal system to store water when available in abundance (rainy season) or from perennial sources like streams for use during dry periods through effective on – farm water management; Water lifting devices like diesel/ electric/ solar pumpsets including water carriage pipes, underground piping system.
  • Extension activities for promotion of scientific moisture conservation and agronomic measures including cropping alignment to maximise use of available water including rainfall and minimise irrigation requirement (Jal sarankchan);
  • Capacity building, training and awareness campaign including low cost publications, use of pico projectors and low cost films for encouraging potential use water source through technological, agronomic and management practices including community irrigation.
  • The extension workers will be empowered to disseminate relevant technologies under PMKSY only after requisite training is provided to them especially in the area of promotion of scientific moisture conservation and agronomic measures, improved/ innovative distribution system like pipe and box outlet system, etc. Appropriate Domain Experts will act as Master Trainers.
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT) interventions through NeGP – A to be made use in the field of water use efficiency, precision irrigation technologies, on farm water management, crop alignment etc. and also to do intensive monitoring of the Scheme.

Key Components of PDMC

  • Micro Irrigation (MI): Focusing on water use efficiency enhancement
  • Drip Irrigation
  • Sprinkler Irrigation
  • Other Interventions (OI): Supplementing drought-proofing measures
  • Water storage/ harvesting structures
  • Secondary Storage Structure
  • Ground water development and recharge
  • Renovation of existing water bodies
  • Water conveyance and water lifting devices

Status of PDMC

  • The coverage of MI during 2015-16 was 5.72 lakh ha against target of 5 lakh ha and in 2016-17 it has been 8.22 lakh ha again exceeding the target of 8 lakh ha
  • Due to cooperation of States and hard work of field level officers, highest ever coverage of MI has been achieved during 2016-17
  • Previous highest was 6.9 lakh ha in 2010-11
  • Under other intervention also 1akh ha protective irrigation potential has been achieved during the last 2 years.

Guidelines Revised for MI (Micro irrigation)

  • District and State Irrigation  Plan of PMKSY has been considered as the basis for developing the MI action plan.
  • More focus has given for convergence and linking with the water sources created under PMKSY and other programmes.
  • Specific emphasis on registration of farmers on basis of Aadhar details.
  • More focus on  transparent and efficient process of empanelment of manufacturers with thrust on quality control and after sales service.
  • Focus on extending coverage for water guzzling crops and field crops like cereals /pulses.
  • Emphasis on water stressed and over exploited ground water areas for adoption of micro irrigation.
  • To encourage higher penetration in the areas of low coverage, higher cost norms have been prescribed for states with low penetration of MI including NE and Himalayan States. as conveyed by Ministry of Finance.
  • Subsidy pattern has been simplified – provision for only 2 categories i.e., for small & marginal categories(55%) and others(45%)
  • The cost norms which were restricted to 5 spacing has been segregated to 14 spacings

Rs. 5000 crore-Micro Irrigation Fund

  • In the Budget Speech 2017-18, dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund of Rs.5000 crore announced.
  • This corpus is to be established with NABARD.
  • States have been requested to provide feedback/suggestions for effective utilization of the fund.
  • Consultation with Ministry of Finance and NABARD are in progress to operationalize the corpus.
  • This issue has been Kept for group discussion with States

Suggestive Activities-Based on feedbacks from states

  1. Use as State share
  2. As top-up subsidy
  3. Command area of irrigation projects in project mode
  4. As part of Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)
  5. Any other mode of implementation

  PMKSY (Watershed Development)

  • Effective management of runoff water and improved soil & moisture conservation activities such as ridge area treatment, drainage line 5 treatment, rain water harvesting, in – situ moisture conservation and other allied activities o n watershed basis.
  • Converging with MGNREGS for creation of water source to full potential in identified backward rainfed blocks including renovation of traditional water bodies

Criticism

  • Delay in availability of funds to implementing agencies hampering timely execution.
  • Cluster approach and convergence with source created under other components of PMKSY and MGNREGS is missing.
  • Being flagship scheme, periodically reviewed by PMO, Cab sec, NITI Aayog, MoWR – Some States are not timely updating the progress on MIS.

10. PM Kisan Scheme

About

It was launched on 24th February, 2019 to supplement the financial needs of land-holding farmers.

Financial Benefits

Financial benefit of Rs 6000/- per year in three equal installments, every four month is transferred into the bank accounts of farmers’ families across the country through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.

Scope of the Scheme

The scheme was initially meant for Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) having landholding up to 2 hectares but the scope of the scheme was extended to cover all landholding farmers.

Funding and Implementation:

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% funding from the Government of India.
  • It is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Objectives:

  • To supplement the financial needs of the Small and Marginal Farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income at the end of each crop cycle.
  • To protect them from falling in the clutches of moneylenders for meeting such expenses and ensure their continuance in the farming activities.

PM-KISAN Mobile App: It was developed and designed by the National Informatics Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Physical Verification Module: A mandatory physical verification of 5% beneficiary every year is being done as per the provisions laid down in the scheme.

Schemes For Women and Child Empowerment

11. Mahila Shakti Kendra

  • The Scheme is implemented through the State Government /UT Administration and is implemented with a cost-sharing ratio of 60:40 between centre and states except for North East and the Special Category States where the ratio is 90:10.
  • It is envisaged to work at the national level (domain-based knowledge support) and state level (State Resource Centre for Women) by providing technical support to the respective governments on issues related to women.
  • The scheme is implemented through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) at village levels. 
  • Each Mahila Shakti Kendra caters to approximately 5000 rural populations covering 3-4 villages.
  • The Kendras seek to facilitate education, skilling, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities for women.
  • The scheme focuses on the following areas:
    • women’s health and nutrition,
    • financial inclusion,
    • digital literacy,
    • agricultural livelihoods, 
    • entrepreneurship,
    • awareness against social evils, etc.
  • The convergence of 20 relevant schemes of 9 Central Ministries is envisaged under the scheme.
  • District Level Centre for Women (DLCW) has also been envisaged for 640 districts to be covered in a phased manner. These centres to serve as a link between the village, block and state level in facilitating women-centric schemes and also give a foothold for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme at the district level. 
  • Community engagement through College Student Volunteers is to play an instrumental role in awareness generation regarding various important government schemes/ programmes as well as social issues as part of Block Level initiatives.

12. Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana

  • It is a maternity benefit programme being implemented in all districts of the country with effect from 1st January, 2017.
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme being executed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Cash benefits are provided to pregnant women in their bank account directly to meet enhanced nutritional needs and partially compensate for wage loss.
  • Implementation of the scheme is closely monitored by the central and state governments through the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana – Common Application Software (PMMVY-CAS).
  • PMMVY-CAS is a web based software application that enables tracking the status of each beneficiary under the scheme, resulting in expedited, accountable and better grievance redressal.

The Beneficiaries

  • All Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), excluding those who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force.
  • All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who have their pregnancy on or after 1st January 2017 for the first child in the family.

Benefits under the Scheme

  • Beneficiaries receive a cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 in three installments on fulfilling the following conditions:
    • Early registration of pregnancy
    • Ante-natal check-up
    • Registration of the birth of the child and completion of the first cycle of vaccination for the first living child of the family.
  • The eligible beneficiaries also receive cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). Thus, on an average, a woman gets Rs. 6,000.

13. Poshan scheme

  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman or PM-POSHAN  for providing one hot cooked meal in Government and Government-aided schools with the financial outlay of Rs 1.31 trillion.
  • The scheme replaced the national programme for mid-day meal in schools or Mid-day Meal Scheme.
  • It has been launched for an initial period of five years (2021-22 to 2025-26).

Features of the PM Poshan Scheme

  • Coverage:
    • Primary (1-5) and upper primary (6-8) schoolchildren are currently entitled to 100 grams and 150 grams of food grains per working day each, to ensure a minimum of 700 calories.
    • It also covers students of balvatikas (children in the 3-5 year age group) from pre-primary classes.
  • Nutritional Gardens: Use of locally-grown nutritional food items will be encouraged from “school nutrition gardens” for boosting the local economic growth, and will also include involvement of Farmers Producer Organizations (FPO) and Women Self Help Groups in the implementation of the scheme.
  • Supplementary Nutrition:
    • The scheme has a provision for supplementary nutrition for children in aspirational districts and those with high prevalence of anaemia.
    • It does away with the restriction on the part of the Centre to provide funds only for wheat, rice, pulses and vegetables.
    • Currently, if a state decides to add any component like milk or eggs to the menu, the Centre does not bear the additional cost. Now that restriction has been lifted.
  • Tithi Bhojan Concept: Tithi Bhojan is a community participation program in which people provide special food to children on special occasions/festivals.
  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT):
    • The Centre has directed the states and the UTs to switch to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system for providing compensation to the cooks and helpers working under the scheme.
    • This is to ensure no leakages at the level of district administration and other authorities.
  • Nutrition Expert: A nutrition expert is to be appointed in each school whose responsibility is to ensure that health aspects such as Body Mass Index (BMI), weight and haemoglobin levels are addressed.
  • Social Audit of the Scheme: A social audit of the scheme has also been mandated for each school in each state to study the implementation of the scheme, which was so far not being done by all states.

Need for Introducing Millets

Malnutrition and Anaemia among Children:

  • According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5, India has unacceptably high levels of stunting, despite marginal improvement over the years.
  • In 2019-21, 35.5% of children below five years were stunted and 32.1% were underweight.

Global Nutrition Report-2021:

  • According to the Global Nutrition Report (GNR, 2021), India has made no progress on anaemia and childhood wasting.
  • Over 17% of Indian children under 5 years of age are affected due to childhood wasting.
  • The data in NFHS 2019-21 shows the highest spike in anaemia was reported among children aged 6-59 months from 67.1% (NFHS-5) from 58.6% (NFHS-4, 2015-16).

Human Capital Index:

  • India ranks 116 out of 174 countries on the human capital index.
  • Human capital consists of the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate over their lives, enabling them to realize their potential as productive members of society.

Poshan Maah

  • Month of September is celebrated as POSHAN Maah since 2018 to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
  • It includes a month-long activities focussed on antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding, Anaemia, growth monitoring, girls education, diet, right age of marriage, hygiene and sanitation and eating healthy (Food Fortification).
  • The activities focus on Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) and are based on Jan Andolan Guidelines.
  • SBCC is the strategic use of communication approaches to promote changes in knowledge, attitudes, norms, beliefs and behaviours.

Poshan Vatika

  • It’s main objective is to ensure supply of nutrition through organically home grown vegetables and fruits simultaneously ensuring that the soil must also remain healthy.
  • Plantation drives for Poshan Vatikas would be taken up by all the stakeholders in the space available at anganwadis, school premises and gram panchayats.

Poshan Abhiyaan

  • Also called National Nutrition Mission, was launched by the government on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2018.
  • The Abhiyaan targets to reduce Stunting, undernutrition, Anemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.
  • It also targets to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.

Scenario of Malnutrition in India:

  • According to a 2010 World Bank report, India suffered an economic loss of Rs 24,000 crore due to lack of toilets. And that the health impact on the economy was 38 million dollars.
  • According to an Assocham study of the year 2018, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) suffered a decline of 4% due to malnutrition.
  • The report also found that children suffering from malnutrition after growing up earn 20% less than those who have had healthy childhoods.
  • The number of SAM children in the country was earlier 80 lakh, which has now come down to 10 lakh.

14. Janani Suraksha Yojana

  • The Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is a 100% centrally sponsored scheme which is being implemented with the objective of reducing maternal and infant mortality by promoting institutional delivery among pregnant women.
  • Basically, it is a safe motherhood intervention under the National Health Mission (NHM).

Benefit

  • Under the JSY, eligible pregnant women are entitled for cash assistance irrespective of the age of mother and number of children, for giving birth in a government or accredited private health facility.
  • The scheme also provides performance based incentives to women health volunteers known as Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) for promoting institutional delivery among pregnant women.

Special Focus

  • The scheme focuses on the poor pregnant woman with special dispensation for states that have low institutional delivery rates, namely, the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Rajasthan, Odisha, and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The above states have been named the Low Performing States (LPS) under the scheme and the remaining States/UTs have been named the High Performing States (HPS)

15. Working Women Hostel

About

  • The objective of the scheme is to promote availability of safe and conveniently located accommodation for working women, with daycare facilities for their children, wherever possible, in urban, semi-urban, or even rural areas where employment opportunity for women exist.
  • The scheme is assisting projects for the construction of new hostel buildings, expansion of existing hostel buildings, and hostel buildings in rented premises. The workingwomen’s hostel projects being assisted under this scheme shall be made available to all working women without any distinction with respect to caste, religion, marital status etc.,subject to norms prescribed under the scheme.
  • While the projects assisted under this scheme are meant for working women, women under training for job may also be accommodated in such hostels subject to the condition that taken together, such trainees should not occupy more than 30% of the total capacity the hostel and they may be accommodated in the hostels only when adequate numbers of working women are not available.
  • Children of workingwomen, up to the age of 18 years for girls and up to the age of 5 years for boys may be accommodated in such hostels with their mothers.

Eligibility

  • Working Women are entitled to hostel facilities provided their gross income does not exceed Rs. 50,000/- consolidated (gross) per month in metropolitan cities, or Rs 35,000/-consolidated (gross) per month, in any other place. When the income of any workingwoman already residing in a hostel exceeds the prescribed limits, she will be required to vacate the hostel within a period of six months of crossing the income ceiling.
  • The implementing organisation charges from the inmates of the working women’s hostel reasonable rent not exceeding 15% of their total emoluments/ gross salary in the case of single bed rooms, 10% in case of the double bed rooms and 7 ½ % in the case of the dormitories.

16. Mahila e-Haat

About

Mahila E-Haat is a meaningful initiative to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs. This is an online marketing platform for women where they can showcase their products. The initiative of e-Haat has been taken on the website of Rashtriya Mahila Kosh itself. This exclusive e-platform will strengthen the socio-economic empowerment of women.   

Features of e-haat

  • It is part of ‘Digital India’ and an initiative for women across the country in the form of ‘Stand Up India’.
  • Genres reflecting the creative potential of women can be presented on this platform.
  • Product photos, description, cost and manufacturer’s address along with mobile number are also being displayed on the e-Haat portal for the convenience of buyers and sellers.
  • In this, sellers will receive payment directly from the buyer.
  • The range of products includes shawls, sarees, dress fabrics, decorative items, carpets, pottery, men’s, women’s and children’s wear, candles, linens etc.
  • Mahila e-Haat has so far directly or indirectly affected 3.5 lakh beneficiaries and more than 26000 self-help groups. The portal received the Scotch-Gold Award in 2016 and was recorded as one of the “Top 100 Projects in India”. The main objective of this scheme is to empower women entrepreneurs by providing continuous support and support to their creativity and to strengthen their financial participation in the economy. Also, through online business activities, it not only increases the cyber-knowledge of women but also ensures their contribution in e-governance.

17. Nai Roshni Scheme

About

  • Nai Roshni-a Leadership Development Programme for Minority Women is a Central Sector Scheme for women belonging to minority communities in the age group of 18 to 65 years.
  • It was started in 2012-13.
  • The objective of the scheme is to empower and instil confidence among minority women, including their neighbors from other communities living in the same village/locality, by providing knowledge, tools, and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks and other institutions at all levels.
  • It is run with the help of NGOs, Civil societies and Government Institutions all over the country.
  • It includes various training modules like Leadership of women, Educational Programmes, Health and Hygiene, Swachch Bharat, Financial Literacy, Life Skills, Legal Rights of Women, Digital Literacy and Advocacy for Social and behavioral change.

Significance of the Scheme

  • Empowerment of women per se is not only essential for equity, but also constitutes a critical element in our fight for poverty reduction, economic growth and strengthening of civil society.
  • Women and children are always the worst sufferers in a poverty-stricken family and need support. Empowering women, especially mothers, is even more important as it is in homes that she nourishes, nurtures and molds the character of her offspring.
  • It helps embolden minority women to move out of the confines of their home and community and assume leadership roles and assert their rights, collectively or individually, in accessing services, facilities, skills, and opportunities besides claiming their due share of development benefits of the Government for improving their lives and living conditions.

18. Mission Indradhanush

  • It was launched to fully immunize more than 89 lakh children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated under UIP.
  • It provides vaccination against 12 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD) i.e. diphtheria, Whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, meningitis and pneumonia, Haemophilus influenzae type B infections, Japanese encephalitis (JE), rotavirus vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and measles-rubella (MR).
  • However, vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis and Haemophilus influenzae type B is being provided in selected districts of the country.
  • Mission Indradhansuh was also identified as one of the flagship schemes under Gram Swaraj Abhiyan and Extended Gram Swaraj Abhiyan.

What is Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI)?

  • It was launched in October 2017.
  • Under IMI, greater focus was given on urban areas which were one of the gaps of Mission Indradhanush.
  • It focused to improve immunisation coverage in select districts and cities to ensure full immunisation to more than 90% by December 2018 instead of 2020.

What is Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0?

  • It was a nationwide immunisation drive to mark the 25 years of Pulse polio programme (2019-20).
  • It had targets of full immunization coverage in 272 districts spread over 27 States.
  • It aimed to achieve at least 90% pan-India immunisation coverage by 2022.

What is Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0?

  • IMI 3.0 was launched in 2021.
  • Focus of the IMI 3.0 was the children and pregnant women who had missed their vaccine doses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Beneficiaries from migration areas and hard to reach areas were targeted as they might have missed their vaccine doses during Covid-19.

What are the Achievements So Far?

  • As of April 2021, during the various phases of Mission Indradhanush, a total of 3.86 crore children and 96.8 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated.
  • The first two phases of Mission Indradhanush resulted in 6.7% increase in full immunisation coverage in a year.
  • A survey (IMI- CES) carried out in 190 districts covered in Intensified Mission Indradhanush (5th Phase of Mission Indradhanush) shows 18.5% points increase in full immunisation coverage as compared to National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4.
  • The Full Immunisation Coverage among children aged 12-23 months of age has increased from 62% (NFHS-4) to 76.4%(NFHS-5).

19. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) or Ujjwala 2.0 Scheme

PMUY-I

Launched in May 2016 to provide LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households.

PMUY-II

  • It is aimed to provide maximum benefit to the migrants who live in other states and find it difficult to submit address proof.
  • Now they will only have to give “Self Declaration” to avail the benefit.

Objectives

  • Empowering women and protecting their health.
  • Reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel.
  • Preventing young children from a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses caused due to indoor air pollution by burning fossil fuel.

Features

  • The scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households.
  • Along with a deposit-free LPG connection, Ujjwala 2.0 will provide the first refill and a hotplate free of cost to the beneficiaries.

Target

  • Under Ujjwala 1.0, the target was to provide LPG connections to 50 million women from the below poverty line (BPL) households, by March 2020. However, in August 2018, women from seven other categories were brought under the purview of the scheme.
  • SC/ST, those under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), beneficiaries of the Antyoday Anna Yojana (AAY)Forest Dwellers, most backward classes, tea gardens and Islands.Under Ujjwala 2.0, an additional 10 million LPG connections will be provided to the beneficiaries.
  • Government has also fixed a target of providing piped gas to 21 lakh homes in 50 districts.

Nodal Ministry

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG).

Achievements

  • In the first phase of the PMUY, 8 crore poor families, including from the Dalit and tribal communities, were given free cooking gas connections.
  • The LPG infrastructure has expanded manifold in the country. In the last six years, more than 11,000 new LPG distribution centres have opened across the country.

Challenges

Low Consumption of Refills: Encouraging the sustained usage of LPG remains a big challenge, and low consumption of refills hindered recovery of outstanding loans disbursed under the scheme.The annual average refill consumption on 31th December 2018 was only 3.21.

System Anomalies: There are deficiencies such as the issuance of connections to unintended beneficiaries, and problems with the software of the state-run oil marketing companies for identifying intended beneficiaries and inadequacies in the deduplication process

Schemes For Skill Development

20. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKY)

Background

  • Skill India Mission was launched by the government in 2015 under which the flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is run.
  • It aims to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022. It aims at vocational training and certification of Indian youth for a better livelihood and respect in the society.
  • PMKVY is implemented by the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) under the guidance of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).

PMKVY 1.0

  • Launch: India’s largest Skill Certification Scheme – Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) – was launched on 15th July, 2015 (World Youth Skills Day).
  • Aim: To encourage and promote skill development in the country by providing free short duration skill training and incentivizing this by providing monetary rewards to youth for skill certification.
  • Key Components: Short Term Training, Special Projects, Recognition of Prior Learning, Kaushal & Rozgar Mela, etc.
  • Outcome: In 2015-16, 19.85 lakh candidates were trained.

PMKVY 2.0

  • Coverage: PMKVY 2016-20 (PMKVY 2.0) was launched by scaling up both in terms of Sector and Geography and by greater alignment with other missions of the Government of India like Make in India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat, etc.
  • Budget: Rs. 12,000 Crore.
  • Implementation Through Two Components:
    • Centrally Sponsored Centrally Managed (CSCM): This component was implemented by National Skill Development Corporation. 75% of the PMKVY 2016-20 funds and corresponding physical targets have been allocated under CSCM.
    • Centrally Sponsored State Managed (CSSM): This component was implemented by State Governments through State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs). 25% of the PMKVY 2016-20 funds and corresponding physical targets have been allocated under CSSM.
  • Outcome: More than 1.2 Crore youth have been trained/oriented through an improved standardized skilling ecosystem in the country under PMKVY 1.0 and PMKVY 2.0.

PMKVY 3.0

  • Coverage: Launched in 717 districts, 28 States/eight UTs, PMKVY 3.0 is a step towards ‘Atmnanirbhar Bharat’.
  • Implementation: It will be implemented in a more decentralized structure with greater responsibilities and support from States/UTs and Districts.
  • District Skill Committees (DSCs), under the guidance of State Skill Development Missions (SSDM), shall play a key role in addressing the skill gap and assessing demand at the district level.
  • Features:
    • It envisages training of eight lakh candidates over a scheme period of 2020-2021 with an outlay of Rs. 948.90 crore.
    • It will be more trainee- and learner-centric. The focus is on bridging the demand-supply gap by promoting skill development in areas of new-age and Industry 4.0 job roles.
    • It will be a propagator of vocational education at an early level for youth to capitalize on industry-linked opportunities.
    • The National Educational Policy 2020 also puts focus on vocational training for holistic growth and increased employability.
    • By taking the bottom-up approach to training, it will identify job roles that have demand at the local level and skill the youth, linking them to these opportunities (Vocal for Local).
    • It will encourage healthy competition between states by making available increased allocation to those states that perform better.

 Challenges in Implementation of PMKVY:

  • Underutilised funds– As per government’s data, the programme’s fund utilisation was poor in 2016-17, with only 56% of the allocated funds being used
  • Limited coverage– Currently only around 2.4% of India’s strong workforce has received formal vocational education or training.
  • Infrastructural deficit- The scheme relies on the training centres set up by the NSDC and its partner trainers, many of them lack adequate infrastructure, equipment, and trainers to provide quality and practical training.
  • Incompatible– The current skill development programmes do not match the actual regional demand for skills, creating a mismatch between the training and the market requirements.
  • Poor productivity– Disconnect with the industry has led to a gap between the skills imparted and the skills needed, resulting in low employability and productivity
  • Dropouts– It has a high dropout rate, with 20% of the enrolled candidates leaving the training before completion.
  • Limited impact– It is due to medical issues, family obligations, social challenges, lengthy commutes, marital status changes, increased livelihood demands, limited job opportunities, and perceived skill stagnation.
  • Regional disparity– The placement rate varies across different states, with Telangana having the highest rate of 35.1% and Maharashtra having the lowest rate of 9.3%.
  • Low placement rate– Only a small fraction (18%) of trained candidates have been able to find a job after completing the training.

21. Pradhan Mantri YUVA yojana

  • Pradhan Mantri Mentorships’s Scheme for Young writers (PM-YUVA) was launched by the Ministry of Education in May 2021 for young writers up to the age of 30 years.
  • A contest was organised to select 75 young authors. The theme of the contest was ‘National Movement of India’ with ‘Unsung Heroes’, “Role of Unknown Places in Freedom Movement’ etc as focus areas.
  • Proposals were invited in all 22 scheduled languages and English.
  • The selection was made by a committee constituted by National Book Trust (NBT).
  • Mentors have been assigned to guide and develop the selected proposals into full-fledged books.
  • A consolidated scholarship of Rs. 50,000 per month for a period of 6 months per author is to be paid under the mentorship scheme.
  • 10% royalty to be paid by NBT on publication and sale of the books.
  • It has been decided that the books selected under the PM-YUVA Scheme are translated into different Indian languages to ensure the exchange of Indian culture and literature in order to promote `Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’.

PM Yuva Yojana Objectives

  • Creating International level Youth writers representing the rich heritage of India.
  • Engage youth of the country in rich Indian history and culture.
  • Creating a pool of young authors in the country who will be the modern/ young ambassadors of our Indian Literature.
  • Create young learners for future leadership roles to represent the country on an international level.
  • To help young authors project their ideas on an international platform, therefore allowing them to promote Indian literature and culture globally.
  • Building skilled writers from new aspiring authors in various genres by providing expert mentoring.

Significance of the YUVA Scheme

  • The PM Yuva Yojana programme is an innovative approach to create new writers in the country representing India at a global level.
  • Special Mentorship programme of 6 months by expert writers.
  • All selected candidates will be given a Scholarship amount of 50,000/- for a period of 6 months.
  • Aspiring writers will be provided with an international platform to represent their creative writing skills.
  • Budding authors in the country can be the face of young leaders in writing representing the magnificent cultural heritage of India.

22. Sankalp Scheme

  • SANKALP Scheme to focus on district-level skilling ecosystem through convergence and coordination.
  • To enhance the district level ecosystem, the Ministry has taken the following initiatives:
    • Skill India Portal: A system to capture and converge skill data even at the district level.Grants: Nine States namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh were given grants.
    • Aspirational Districts: In addition to these State, grants have also been released to 117 aspirational districts under Aspirational Skilling Abhiyaan.

Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Scheme

  • Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood (SANKALP) is an outcome-oriented programme of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) with a special focus on decentralised planning and quality improvement.
  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which is collaborated with the World Bank.
  • It aims to implement the mandate of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDM).
  • The main objectives of the scheme are:

    • Convergence: Creating convergence among all skill training activities, both State-led and Government of India funded, at the state level.
    • Quality: Improving the quality of skill development programs through building a pool of quality trainers, developing model curriculum and content, and standardizing assessment and certification.
    • Evaluation System: Establishing a robust monitoring and evaluation system for skill training programs.
    • Inclusiveness & Opportunity: Providing access to skill training opportunities to the disadvantaged sections. Creating industry-led and demand-driven skill training capacity.
  • Similar to SANKALP scheme, the government has also launched the STRIVE scheme for skill development.

Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement Scheme

  • Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) scheme is a World Bank assisted-Government of India project with the objective of improving the relevance and efficiency of skills training provided through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and apprenticeships.
  • It is a Central Sector Scheme, covering the following 4 result areas:

    • Improved performance of ITI.
    • Increased Capacities of State Governments to support ITIs and Apprenticeship Training.
    • Improved Teaching and Learning.
    • Improved and Broadened Apprenticeship Training.

Central Sector Scheme and Centrally Sponsored Scheme

  • India’s developmental plan is comprised of two types of schemes i.e., Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • Under Central sector schemes, it is 100% funded by the Union government and implemented by the Central Government machinery.
  • Under Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) a certain percentage of the funding is borne by the States in the ratio of 50:50, 70:30, 75:25 or 90:10 and the implementation is by the State Governments.

23. Skill India Mission

About

Skill India Mission is a flagship initiative of the Government of India. It was launched in 2015 to impart market-relevant skills to the youth of India. It aims to create an empowered workforce by providing adequate training in market-relevant skills to over 40 crore youth by 2022. 

Objectives of the Skill India Mission

  • Bridging the gap between the industry demands and the individual skill requirements for employment generation.
  • Creating employment opportunities for the development of young talents.
  • Strengthening the Indian youth as a workforce for world markets.
  • Building up the competitiveness of Indian businesses.
  • Building up true marketplace capabilities rather than mere qualifications.
  • Diversifying the skill development program to meet the demands of a dynamic market.
  • Training people in areas like real estate, construction, transportation, textile, gem industry, banking, and tourism where skill development is inadequate.
  •  Identifying and developing the new sectors that require skill enhancement.

Major Components of Skill India Mission

  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY): PMKVY is the flagship skill development scheme under Skill India. It focuses on providing short-term training to school dropouts and unemployed individuals. The scheme covers various sectors. It imparts training in areas such as soft skills, digital literacy, entrepreneurship, and more.
  • Kaushal and Rozgar Mela: This component promotes active participation from the community. This is to foster transparency and accountability. Kaushal and Rozgar Melas are job fairs organized at local levels.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): RPL aims to recognize and certify the skills of individuals who have prior experience in a particular field. It provides a pathway to access further training to fill knowledge gaps.
  • Special Projects: The mission accommodates special projects that deviate from the standard framework. These projects focus on specific sectors. They cater to specialized skill requirements. 
  • Monitoring Guidelines: To ensure the quality of training imparted, monitoring guidelines are put in place. These guidelines ensure that the designated training centers deliver effective skill development programs.
  • Placement Guidelines: Skill India emphasizes placing the skilled workforce in the right fields as per market demands. These are followed to ensure that individuals are guided into suitable employment opportunities.

Features of the Skill India Mission

  • The initiative provides the younger generation with employment opportunities and also helps them launch their MSMEs.
  • It provides training as well as financial & technical assistance to new traders stepping into the market.
  • It lays emphasis on core sectors like construction, banking and finance, transportation, tourism, and entrepreneurship.
  • Under the initiative, India has partnered with other countries and overseas educational institutions to provide training that is on par with international standards.
  • It focuses on providing internationally acceptable training to people to improve their communication, entrepreneurial, and management skills

24. Stand Up India Scheme

About

  • Stand up India Scheme was launched by Ministry of Finance on 5th April 2016 to promote entrepreneurship at grassroot level focusing on economic empowerment and job creation.
  • This scheme has been extended up to the year 2025.

Purpose

  • Promote entrepreneurship amongst womenScheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.
  • Provide loans for greenfield enterprises in manufacturing, services or the trading sector and activities allied to agriculture.
  • Facilitate bank loans between Rs.10 lakh and Rs.100 lakh to at least one SC/ST borrower and at least one-woman borrower per bank branch of Scheduled Commercial Banks.

Facilitates Bank Loans

The scheme aims to encourage all bank branches in extending loans. The desiring applicants can apply under the scheme:

  • Directly at the branch or,
  • Through Stand-Up India Portal (www.standupmitra.in) or,
  • Through the Lead District Manager (LDM).

Eligibility for a Loan

  • SC/ST and/or women entrepreneurs, above 18 years of age.
  • Loans under the scheme are available for only green field projects. Green field signifies, in this context, the first-time venture of the beneficiary in manufacturing, services or the trading sector and activities allied to agriculture.
  • In case of non-individual enterprises, 51% of the shareholding and controlling stake should be held by either SC/ST and/or Women Entrepreneur.
  • Borrowers should not be in default to any bank/financial institution.The Scheme envisages ‘up to 15%’ margin money which can be provided in convergence with eligible Central/State schemes.
  • In any case, the borrower shall be required to bring in a minimum of 10 % of the project cost as own contribution.

Achievements

  • Rs.40,710crore has been sanctioned under Stand-Up India Scheme to 180,636 accounts in the last 7 years.
  • More than 80% of loans given under this scheme have been provided to women.

25. Start Up India Scheme

About

Aims at fostering entrepreneurship and promoting innovation by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of Start-ups. The objective is that India must become a nation of job creators instead of being a nation of job seekers.

Scheme

  • It is focused to restrict role of States in policy domain and to get rid of “license raj” and hindrances like in land permissions, foreign investment proposal, environmental clearances
  • Managed by: The programs under the initiative are managed by a dedicated Startup India Team which reports to the Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion (DPIIT).

Key Pillars

  • Simplification and Handholding: 
    • Single Window Clearance even with the help of a mobile application
    • Modified and more friendly Bankruptcy Code to ensure 90-day exit window
    • Freedom from mystifying inspections for 3 years
    • Eliminating red tapeSelf-certification compliance
    • New schemes to provide IPR protection to start-ups and new firms
  • Funding & Incentives: 
    • 10,000 crore fund of funds
    • Credit Guarantee funds for start up  through SIDBI
    • 80% reduction in patent registration fee
    • Freedom from Capital Gain Tax for 3 years
    • Freedom from tax in profits for 3 years
  • Incubation & Industry-Academia Partnerships: 
    • Innovation hub under Atal Innovation Mission
    • Stand India across the world as a start-up hub
    • Starting with 5 lakh schools to target 10 lakh children for innovation programme
  • The initiative is also aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among SCs/STs, women communities.
  • Rural India’s version of Start up India was named the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Swaniyojan Yojana

What is an Start-Up under this Scheme?

A startup is an entity that is headquartered in India which was opened less than seven years ago and have an annual turnover less than ₹25 crore

Status

  • As of June 2021, 50,000 startups across have been recognized as startups by DPIIT.
  • Each State and UT has at least one startup. About 1.7 lakh jobs were created by recognized startups in the 2020-2021 period alone.
  • The sectors that had the maximum registered startups were ‘Food Processing’, ‘Product Development’, ‘Application Development’, ‘IT Consulting’ and ‘Business Support Services’.
  • The leadership teams of 45% of startups have a woman entrepreneur, a trend that will inspire more women entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into startups.

26. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)

About

It was launched by the government in 2015 for providing loans up to Rs. 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro-enterprises.

Funding Provision

  • MUDRA, which stands for Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd., is a financial institution set up by the Government.
  • It provides funding to the non-corporate small business sector through various last-mile financial institutions like Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs).
  • MUDRA does not lend directly to micro-entrepreneurs/individuals.

Three Products

MUDRA has created three products i.e. ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ as per the stage of growth and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit.

  • Shishu: Covering loans up to Rs. 50,000.
  • Kishore: Covering loans above Rs. 50,000 and up to Rs. 5 lakh.
  • Tarun: Covering loans above Rs. 5 lakh and up to Rs. 10 lakh.

Loans under this scheme are collateral-free loans.

Achievements:

  • Loans have been given to disadvantaged sections of society such as women entrepreneurs, SC/ST/OBC borrowers, Minority community borrowers, etc. The focus has also been on new entrepreneurs.
  • As per a survey conducted by Ministry of Labour and Employment, PMMY helped in generation of 1.12 crore net additional employment from 2015 to 2018.
  • Out of the 1.12 crore of estimated increase in employment, women accounted for 69 lakh (62%)

27. Mission Karamyogi

Objectives and Need 

  • Civil services are at the centre of all government activities – they are agents of policymaking and the executive hand that delivers on the ground. 
  • The skill sets and capacity of the civil servants play a vital role in service delivery, program implementation and performing core governance functions.
  • Recognizing this crucial responsibility, the Mission Karmayogi programme was launched. 
  • It is meant to reform Indian bureaucracy and prepare civil servants for the future. 

About

  • It was launched in 2020  with the objective of enhancing governance through Civil Service Capacity Building.
  • It aims “comprehensive reform of the capacity building apparatus at individual, institutional and process levels for efficient public service delivery”.
  • It aims to prepare civil service officers for the future by making them more “creative, constructive, imaginative, innovative, proactive, professional, progressive, energetic, enabling, transparent and technology-enabled.’

Focus

  • On promoting ease of living and ease of doing business, by considerably enhancing the citizen-government interface.
  • This involves creation of both functional and behavioural competencies among the civil servants.

Pillars 

Mission Karmayogi will have the following six pillars: 

  • Policy Framework
  • Institutional Framework
  • Competency Framework
  • Digital Learning Framework (Integrated Government Online Training Karmayogi Platform (iGOT-Karmayogi)
  • Electronic Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS), and
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

Coverage 

  • It will cover all civil servants (including contractual employees) across different ministries, departments, organisations and agencies of the Union Government.
  •  The willing state governments will also be enabled to align their capacity building plans on similar lines.

Initiatives 

  • The mission has also created an online platform called iGOT-Karmayogi.
  • iGOT stands for Integrated Government Online Training. 
  • It will provide content to learn from global best practices rooted in “Indian ethos”.
  • Civil servants will also have to undertake courses on this platform on which the officers’ performance will be evaluated. 
  • A Special Purpose Vehicle will monitor the platform. 
  • The SPV will be a not-for-profit organisation under Section 8 of the Companies Act.

Significance 

  • It will improve human resource management practices among the officers.
  •  It will focus more on role based management. It will aim to allocate roles and jobs based on competencies of the officers.

Schemes For Civil Aviation

28. NABH Nirman Abhiyaan

  • NextGen Airports for Bharat (NABH) Nirman is an initiative to expand airport capacity by more than five times to handle a billion trips a year.
  • The three aspects of NABH Nirman are building of airport capacity through:
    • fair and equitable land acquisition,
    • long-term master plan for airport and regional development
    • balanced economics for all stakeholders

29. UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) Scheme

About

  • The scheme was launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation for regional airport development and regional connectivity enhancement.
  • It is a part of the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016.
  • The scheme is applicable for a period of 10 years.

Objectives

  • Improve the air connectivity to remote and regional areas of India.
  • Development of remote areas and enhancing trade and commerce and tourism expansion.
  • Enable common people to access air travel with affordable rates.
  • Employment creation in the aviation sector.

Key Features

  • Under the scheme, airlines have to cap airfares for 50% of the total seats at Rs. 2,500 per hour of flight.
  • This would be achieved through:
    • A financial stimulus in the form of concessions from Central and State governments and airport operators and
    • Viability Gap Funding (VGF) – A government grant provided to the airlines to bridge the gap between the cost of operations and expected revenue.
    • Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) was created to meet the viability gap funding requirements under the scheme.
  • The partner State Governments (other than UTs and NER states where contribution will be 10%) would contribute a 20% share to this fund.

Previous Phases of the Scheme

  • Phase 1 was launched in 2017, with the objective of connecting underserved and unserved airports in the country.
  • Phase 2 was launched in 2018, with the aim of expanding air connectivity to more remote and inaccessible parts of the country.
  • Phase 3 was launched in November 2018, with the focus on enhancing air connectivity to hilly and remote regions of the country.
  • Phase 4 of the UDAN scheme was launched in December 2019, with a focus on connecting islands and other remote areas of the country.

Key Features of UDAN 5.0

  • It focuses on Category-2 (20-80 seats) and Category-3 (>80 seats) aircrafts.
  • There is no restriction on the distance between the origin and the destination of the flight.
  • VGF to be provided will be capped at 600 km stage length for both Priority and Non-Priority areas; earlier capped at 500 km.
  • No predetermined routes would be offered; only Network and Individual Route Proposal proposed by airlines will be considered.
  • The same route would not be awarded to a single airline more than once, whether in different networks or in the same network.
  • Exclusivity of operation provided to an airline will be withdrawn if the average quarterly Passenger Load Factor (PLF) is higher than 75% for four continuous quarters.
  • This has been done to prevent exploitation of the monopoly on a route.
  • Airlines would be required to commence operations within 4 months of the award of the route; earlier this deadline was 6 months.
  • Novation process for routes from one operator to another has been simplified and incentivized.
  • Novation – The process of substituting an existing contract with a replacement contract, where the contracting parties reach a consensus.

What are Achievements under UDAN Scheme?

  • The scheme has also been able to provide a fair amount of air connectivity to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities at affordable airfares and has transformed the way travelling was done earlier.
  • The number of operational airports has gone up to 141 from 74 in 2014.
  • 68 underserved/unserved destinations which include 58 Airports, 8 Heliports & 2 Water Aerodromes have been connected under UDAN scheme.
  • With 425 new routes initiated, UDAN has provided air connectivity to more than 29 States/ UTs across the country.
  • More than one crore passengers have availed the benefits of this scheme.

Schemes for Deprieved/ SC/ST

30. PM-GKAY ( Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna yojana)

About

  • PMGKAY is a part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.
  • The scheme aimed at providing each person who is covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 with an additional 5 kg grains (wheat or rice) for free, in addition to the 5 kg of subsidised foodgrain already provided through the Public Distribution System (PDS).
  • It was initially announced for a three-month period (April, May and June 2020), covering 80 crore ration cardholders. Later it was extended till September 2022.
  • Its nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Finance.
  • The benefit of the free ration can be availed through portability by any migrant labour or beneficiary under the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan from nearly 5 lakh ration shops across the country.

Cost

The overall expenditure of PMGKAY will be about Rs. 3.91 lakh crore for all the phases.

Challenges

The beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act are based on the last census (2011). The number of food-insecure people has increased since then and they remain uncovered.

Issues

  • Expensive: It’s very expensive for the government to sustain and increases the need for an abundant supply of cheap grains. In 2022, India has had to restrict exports of wheat and rice after erratic weather hurt harvest, adding to pressure on food prices, and rattling global agricultural markets.
  • Increase Fiscal Deficit: It could pose a risk to the government’s target to further narrow the fiscal deficit to 6.4% of gross domestic product.
  • Inflation: The decision on the program could also affect inflation. The prices of rice and wheat, which make up about 10% of India’s retail inflation, are seeing an uptick due to lower production amid a heatwave and patchy monsoon.

31. PM-JANMAN Scheme

About

  • PM JANMAN is a government scheme that aims to bring tribal communities into the mainstream.
  • The scheme (comprising Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes) will be implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, in collaboration with the State governments and the PVTG communities.
  • The scheme will concentrate on 11 critical interventions overseen by 9 line Ministries, ensuring the implementation of existing schemes in villages inhabited by PVTGs.
  • It encompasses various sectors, including safe housing under the PM-AWAS Scheme, access to clean drinking water, improved healthcare, education, nutrition, road and telecommunications connectivity, as well as opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.
  • The plan also includes the establishment of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras for trading in forest produce, off-grid solar power systems for 1 lakh households, and solar street lights.
  • The scheme is expected to enhance the quality of life and well-being of the PVTGs, by addressing their multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and exclusion, and by recognizing and valuing their unique and valuable contribution to national and global development.

Challenges in Implementation

  • Lack of current data on PVTGs is a significant challenge, as the last available census data for PVTGs is from 2001, which counted a total of around 27.6 lakh individuals belonging to these communities.
  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has started conducting baseline surveys, but an accurate and current dataset of PVTG populations is yet to be compiled.
  • The population data submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment in 2022 was based on the 2011 Census and did not include the population of PVTGs in Maharashtra, Manipur, and Rajasthan.
  • The lack of current data hampers the accurate assessment of the needs and progress of PVTG communities.
  • The absence of a specific Census for PVTG communities, as recommended by the National Advisory Council in 2013, further adds to the challenge of gathering comprehensive information on their education, health, and housing status.
  • The complexity and diversity of the needs and capacities of the PVTGs across different regions and states and the need for customized and flexible approaches and interventions.
  • The stigma and discrimination faced by the PVTGs in mainstream society and the state and the need for sensitization and awareness among the stakeholders and the public.
  • The coordination and convergence of the scheme with the existing schemes and programmes of the central and state governments and the need for effective and efficient delivery and utilization of the resources and services.

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

  • In 1973, the Dhebar Commission established Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a distinct category, encompassing tribal communities characterized by a declining or stagnant population, the use of pre-agrarian technology, economic backwardness, and low literacy.
  • These groups are identified as less developed among the tribal communities.
  • In 2006, the Government of India renamed the PTGs as PVTGs. They reside in remote and inaccessible areas, facing challenges due to poor infrastructure and administrative support.
  • There are 75 PVTG communities spread across 18 States and Union Territories in India.
    • Odisha has the highest number of PVTGs (15), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12), Bihar and Jharkhand (9), Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (7), Tamil Nadu (6), and Kerala and Gujarat (5 each).
    • The rest of the communities are spread across Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Tripura, and Manipur.
    • All four tribal groups in the Andaman and one in the Nicobar Islands are recognized as PVTGs.

32. Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G)

  • Launch: To achieve the objective of “Housing for All” by 2022, the erstwhile rural housing scheme Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) was restructured to Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) w.e.f 1st April, 2016.
  • Ministry Involved: Ministry of Rural Development.
  • Aim:
    • To provide a pucca house with basic amenities to all rural families, who are homeless or living in kutcha or dilapidated houses by the end of March 2022.
    • To help rural people Below the Poverty Line (BPL) in construction of dwelling units and upgradation of existing unserviceable kutcha houses by providing assistance in the form of a full grant.
  • Beneficiaries: People belonging to SCs/STs, freed bonded labourers and non-SC/ST categories, widows or next-of-kin of defence personnel killed in action, ex servicemen and retired members of the paramilitary forces, disabled persons and minorities.
  • Selection of Beneficiaries: Through a three stage validation – Socio Economic Caste Census 2011, Gram Sabha, and geo-tagging.
  • Cost Sharing: The cost of unit assistance is shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for North Eastern and hilly states.

Features

  • The minimum size of the house has been increased to 25 sq.mt (from 20sq.mt) with a hygienic cooking space.
  • The unit assistance has been increased from Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 1.20 lakh in plain and from Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 1.30 lakh in hilly states.The assistance for construction of toilets shall be leveraged through convergence with Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G), MGNREGS or any other dedicated source of funding.
  • Convergence for piped drinking water, electricity connection, LPG gas connection etc. different Government programmers are also to be attempted.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)

  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Programme envisions Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence. It is under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • It was launched in 2015 to provide central assistance to implementing agencies through States and UTs for providing houses to all eligible families/ beneficiaries.
  • PMAY(U) adopts a demand-driven approach wherein the Housing shortage is decided based on demand assessment by States/Union Territories.
  • The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following program verticals:
    • Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource
    • Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy
    • Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors
    • Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement

Beneficiaries

  • Beneficiaries include economically weaker sections (EWS), low-income groups (LIGs) and Middle-Income Groups (MIGs). 
  • The EWS/LIG/MIG categories are defined as follows:
    • EWS households with an annual income up to Rs. 3.00 lakhs.
    • LIG households with an annual income between Rs. 3.00 lakhs to Rs. 6.00 lakhs.
    • MIG households with an annual income between Rs. 6.00 lakhs to Rs. 18.00 lakhs.
  • EWS category of beneficiaries is eligible for assistance in all four verticals of the Missions whereas LIG and MIG categories are eligible under only Credit linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) component of the Mission.
  • The beneficiary family should not own a pucca house and the beneficiary family should not have availed of central assistance under any housing scheme from the Government of India.

Implementation

  • Mission is implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) except for the component of credit linked subsidy which will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme.
  • All statutory towns as per Census 2011 and towns notified subsequently would be eligible for coverage under the Mission.
  • The Mission also promotes women empowerment by providing the ownership of houses in the name of female member or in joint name. 
  • Preference is also given to differently-abled persons, senior citizens, SCs, STs, OBCs, Minority, single women, transgender and other weaker & vulnerable sections of the society. 

33. PM-SVANidhi

About

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme i.e., fully funded by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs with the following objectives:
    • To facilitate working capital loan;
    • To incentivize regular repayment; and
    • To reward digital transactions
  • Introduction of 3rd term loan of up to ₹50,000 in addition to 1st & 2nd loans of ₹10,000 and ₹20,000 respectively.
  • The loans would be without collateral.

Lending Agencies

Microfinance Institutions, Non-Banking Financial Company, Self Help Groups have been allowed due to their ground level presence and proximity to the urban poor including the street vendors.

Eligibility

  • States/Union Territories (UTs):
    • The Scheme is available for beneficiaries belonging to only those States/UTs which have notified Rules and Scheme under Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.
    • Beneficiaries from Meghalaya, which has its own State Street Vendors Act may, however, participate.
  • Street Vendors:
    • The Scheme is available to all street vendors engaged in vending in urban areas.
    • Earlier the Scheme was available to all street vendors engaged in vending on or before March 24, 2020.

Benefits of Early Repayment:

  • Interest Subsidy: On timely/early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy of 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through direct benefit transfer on a six monthly basis.
  • Credit Limits Extension: The scheme provides for the rise of the credit limit on timely/ early repayment of loans i.e. if a street vendor repays the installments on time or earlier, he or she can develop his or her credit score that makes him/her eligible for a higher amount of term loan.
  • No-Penalty on Early Repayment:
    • There will be no penalty on early repayment of loan.
    • Early repayment (or resettlement) is a clearance of debt or loan before the scheduled time.
    • Many banks and lenders charge penalties for repaying loans early.

E-governance

  • Encourage Digital Transactions: The scheme incentivises digital transactions by the street vendors through monthly cash back.
  • Transparency:
    • In line with the vision of leveraging technology to ensure effective delivery and transparency, a digital platform with web portal/ mobile app is being developed to administer the scheme with end-to-end solution.
    • This platform will integrate the web portal/ mobile app with UdyamiMitra portal of SIDBI for credit management and PAiSA portal of MoHUA to administer interest subsidy automatically.
  • Financial Inclusion: It will help in integrating the vendors into the formal financial system.
  • Focus on Capacity Building: MoHUA in collaboration with State Governments will launch a capacity building and financial literacy programme of all the stakeholders and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities throughout the country
  • Role of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs): ULBs will play a pivotal role in the implementation of the scheme by ensuring to target the beneficiaries and reaching to them in an efficient manner.

Schemes for Rural Development

34. Jal Jeevan Mission

About

  • Launched in 2019, it envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
  • JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.
  • It comes under Jal Shakti Ministry.

Aims

  • The mission ensures functionality of existing water supply systems and water connections, water quality monitoring and testing as well as sustainable agriculture.
  • It also ensures conjunctive use of conserved water; drinking water source augmentation, drinking water supply system, grey water treatment and its reuse.

Features

  • JJM focuses on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level.
  • Creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse, is undertaken in convergence with other government programmes/schemes.
  • The Mission is based on a community approach to water and includes extensive Information, Education and Communication as a key component of the mission.

Implementation

  • Paani Samitis plan, implement, manage, operate and maintain village water supply systems.
  • These consist of 10-15 members, with at least 50% women members and other members from Self-Help GroupsAccredited Social and Health WorkersAnganwadi teachers, etc.
  • The committees prepare a one-time village action plan, merging all available village resources. The plan is approved in a Gram Sabha before implementation.

Funding Pattern

The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.

JJM’s Performance

  • Currently about 12.3 crore (62%) rural households have piped water connections up from 3.2 crore (16.6%) from 2019.
  • Five states viz; Gujarat, Telangana, Goa, Haryana, and Punjab and 3 Union Territories — Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman Diu & Dadra Nagar Haveli and Puducherry have reported 100% coverage.
  • Himachal Pradesh at 98.87%, followed by Bihar at 96.30%, are also poised to achieve saturation in near future.

35. SVAMITVA Scheme

About

  • SVAMITVA stands for Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas.
  • It is a center sector scheme which was launched nationally on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April 2021.

Nodal Ministry

  • Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR)
  • Survey of India is a Technology Implementation Agency.

Aim

  • To provide an integrated property validation solution for rural India.
  • To provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners in rural areas and issue Property Cards.
  • The demarcation of rural areas would be done using Drone Surveying Technology.

Features

  • The demarcation of rural inhabited areas would be done using CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Stations) Networks which provides mapping accuracy of 5 cm.
  • This would provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners possessing houses in inhabited rural areas in villages.
  • It will cover around 6.62 Lakh villages of the entire country during 2021-2025.

Nomenclature for Property Cards

Property Cards are known as ‘Title deed’ in Haryana, ‘Rural Property Ownership Records (RPOR)’ in Karnataka, ‘Adhikar Abhilekh’ in Madhya Pradesh, ‘Sannad’ in Maharashtra, ‘Svamitva Abhilekh’ in Uttarakhand, ‘Gharauni’ in Uttar Pradesh.

36. One District One Product

About

  • The ‘One District, One Product’ (ODOP) was launched by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, to help districts reach their full potential, foster economic and socio-cultural growth, and create employment opportunities, especially, in rural areas.
  • This initiative is carried out with the ‘Districts as Exports Hub’ initiative by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Department of Commerce.
  • ‘Districts as Exports Hub’ initiative provides financial and technical assistance to the district level industries so that the small-scale industries can be helped and they can provide employment opportunities to the local people.

Objectives

  • It aims to identify, promote and brand a product from one district.
  • To turn every district in India, into an export hub through promotion of the product in which the district specialises.
  • It envisions to accomplish this by scaling manufacturing, supporting local businesses, finding potential foreign customers and so on, thus helping to achieve the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision.

Status of Handicraft Sector in India

About

  • Handicrafts are items that are constructed by hand using simple tools rather than mass production methods and equipment. While very similar to basic arts and crafts, there is one key difference with handicrafts.
  • The items produced as a result of the efforts are designed for a specific function or use as well as being ornamental in nature.
  • The handloom and handicraft industry has been the backbone of India’s rural economy for decades.
  • India produces woodware, artmetal wares, handprinted textiles, embroidered goods, zari goods, imitation jewellery, sculptures, pottery, glassware, attars, agarbattis, etc.

Trade

  • India is one of the largest handicraft exporting countries.
  • In March 2022, the total handicraft export excluding handmade carpets from India was USD 174.26 million which was an 8% increase from February 2022. During 2021-22, the total exports of Indian handicrafts were valued at USD 4.35 billion; a 25.7% increase from the previous year.

Significance of the Sector

  • Largest Employment Generator:
    • It is one of the largest employment generators after agriculture, providing a key means of livelihood to the country’s rural and urban population.
    • Handicraft is one of the most important sectors in the Indian economy employing more than seven million people.
  • Eco-Friendly: The sector functions on a self-sustaining business model, with craftsmen often growing their own raw materials and is well known for being a pioneer of environment-friendly zero-waste practices.

Challenges

  • Artisans face challenges such as inaccessibility of funds, low penetration of technology, absence of market intelligence and poor institutional framework for growth.
  • In addition, the sector is plagued by implicit contradiction of handmade products, which are typically at odds with scale of production.

Factors Support the Growth of the Sector

  • Government Schemes:
    • The central government is actively working towards developing the industry to maximize its potential.
    • The introduction of several schemes and initiatives is helping craftsmen to overcome the challenges they face.
  • Rise of Dedicated Trade Platforms:
    • Few platforms like Craftezy, have emerged that lend the much-needed support to Indian artisans in finding visibility in domestic and global markets.
    • These global handicraft trade platforms come with a free supplier induction process and aim at giving it an organized image in the global market.
  • Using Technology for Inclusion:
    • Technology that can help cross boundaries has proven to be a boon for the handicraft industry.
    • E-commerce has opened doors to seamless access to consumer goods, and this has enabled inclusive growth as all manufacturers in any part of the globe can showcase their products through these online platforms.
    • Even social media platforms are helping immensely with marketing Indian handicrafts globally.
  • Exports Vs Imports:
    • In the last five years, exports of Indian handicrafts have gone up by more than 40%, as three-fourths of handicrafts are exported.
    • Indian handicrafts are majorly exported to more than a hundred countries, and the US alone constitutes about a third of India’s handicrafts exports.
  • Change in Behaviour of Artisans:
    • To generate enhanced income, artisans adapt to new skills and create products that meet new market demands.
    • Thus, on account of the introduction of technology and the ease it brings to their table, there is a significant change in the behaviours of sellers and buyers of handicrafts.

Schemes for Road, Transportation and Shipping

37. Vehicle Scrapping Policy

Aim

Reducing the population of old and defective vehicles, bringing down vehicular air pollutants, improving road and vehicular safety.

Provisions

  • Fitness Test:
    • Old vehicles will have to pass a fitness test before re-registration and as per the policy government commercial vehicles more than 15 years old and private vehicles which are over 20 years old will be scrapped.
    • Old vehicles will be tested at the Automated Fitness Center and the fitness test of the vehicles will be conducted according to international standards.
    • Emission test, braking system, safety components will be tested and the vehicles which fail in the fitness test will be scraped.
    • The Ministry has also issued rules for registration procedure for scrapping facilities, their powers, and scrapping procedure to be followed.
  • Road Tax Rebate:
    The state governments may be advised to offer a road-tax rebate of up to 25% for personal vehicles and up to 15% for commercial vehicles to provide incentive to owners of old vehicles to scrap old and unfit vehicles
  • Vehicle Discount:
    Vehicle manufacturers will also give a discount of 5% to people who will produce the ‘Scrapping Certificate’ and registration fees will be waived off on the purchase of a new vehicle.
  • Disincentive:
    As a disincentive, increased re-registration fees would be applicable for vehicles 15 years or older from the initial date registration.

Significance

  • Creation of Scrap yards: It will lead to creation for more scrap yards in the country and effective recovery of waste from old vehicles.
  • Employment: In the new fitness centers, 35 thousand people will get employment and an investment of Rs 10,000 crores will be pumped in.
  • Improved Revenue:
    • This will boost sales of heavy and medium commercial vehicles that had been in the contraction zone as a result of economic slowdown triggered by the bankruptcy of IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services) and Covid-19 pandemic.
    • The government treasury is expected to get around Rs 30,000 to 40,000 crores of money through Goods and Services Tax (GST) from this policy.
  • Reduction in Prices:
    • Prices of auto components would fall substantially with the recycling of metal and plastic parts.
    • As scrapped materials will get cheaper the production cost of the vehicle manufacturers will also reduce.
  • Reduce Pollution:
    • It will help improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollution.
    • As older vehicles pollute the environment 10 to 12 times more, and estimated that 17 lakh medium and heavy commercial vehicles are more than 15 years old.

38. Indian Railway Innovation Policy

About

  • Grant up to Rs. 1.5 Crore to innovators on equal sharing basis with provision of milestone-wise payment.
  • The complete process from floating of problem statement to development of prototype is online with defined time line to make it transparent and objective.
  • Trials of prototypes will be done in Railways.
  • Enhanced funding will be provided to scale up deployment on successful performance of prototypes.
  • Selection of Innovator/s will be done by a transparent and fair system which will be dealt through an online portal inaugurated today by the Minister of Railways.
  • Developed Intellectual property rights (IPR) will remain with innovators only.
  • De-centralization of complete product development process at divisional level to avoid delays.

Issues Identified

Eleven problem statements such as rail fracture, headway reduction, etc., have been taken up for this program’s phase 1 out of the more than 100 problem statements received from various divisions, field offices or zones of Indian Railways.

Expected Benefits

  • This policy will bring scale and efficiency in the field of operation, maintenance and infrastructure creation through participation of a very large and untapped startup ecosystem.
  • It also aims to leverage innovative technologies developed by Indian Startups/MSMEs/Innovators/Entrepreneurs to improve operational efficiency and Safety of Indian Railways.
  • It will Promote “Innovation Culture‟ in the country for co-creation and co-innovation in the Railway sector.

Key Facts about Indian Railways

  • The Indian Railways network is one of the longest in the world.
  • It facilitates the movement of both freight and passengers and contributes to the growth of the economy.
  • The Indian Railway was introduced in 1853, when a line was constructed from Bombay to Thane covering a distance of 34 km.
  • Indian Railways is the largest government undertaking in the country.
  • The length of the Indian Railways network was 67,956 km (Railway yearbook 2019-20).

39. Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) Scheme

Aim

  • To encourage electric and hybrid vehicle purchases by providing subsidies.
  • FAME or Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles was conceived by the government of India to narrow the gap between prices of traditional internal combustion (petrol, diesel) vehicles and electric vehicles – cars, scooters and three-wheelers, hybrids included.

Objectives of Fame India Scheme

  • This scheme encourages electric vehicle manufacturers and related providers to manufacture a higher number of electric vehicles in the country.
  • Its goal is to reduce vehicular emissions and air pollution levels within the country.
  • This scheme also aims to establish an electric charging infrastructure.
  • In addition, Fame India Scheme targets to convert 30% of total transportation into electric vehicles by the year 2030.

Pillars

  • It has mainly focused on four aspects – demand creation, technology platform, pilot projects, and charging infrastructure.
  • For demand creation, incentives have mainly been disbursed in the form of reduced purchase prices.

Features of Phase I of Fame India Scheme

  • The concerned authorities implemented the first phase by focusing on four key areas. These are (a) Demand Creation, (b) Technology Platform, (c) Pilot Project and (d) Charging Infrastructure.
  • The Government installed 427 charging stations during Phase I.
  • The Government allotted ₹ 895 crores to cover the operations of Phase I. Here, nearly 2.8 lakh electric vehicles were supported with an amount of ₹ 359 crores.

Features of Phase II of Fame India Scheme

  • The second phase of Fame India Scheme stresses on electrification of public transportation and shared transportation.
  • This phase gets budgetary support of ₹ 10,000 crores.
  • Through this scheme, the concerned department aims to provide incentives to various categories of vehicles. These are,
    • Electric Two-wheelers: 10 lakh registered electric two-wheelers will get an incentive of ₹ 20,000 each.
    • Electric Four-wheelers: 35,000 electric 4-wheelers with ex-factory price of ₹ 15 lakh will get an incentive of ₹ 1.5 lakh each.
    • Hybrid Four-wheelers: Through this scheme, the Government will provide ₹ 13,000 – ₹ 20,000 as an incentive to hybrid 4-wheelers with ex-factory price of ₹ 15 lakh.
    • e-rickshaws: 5 lakh e-rickshaws (each) can avail ₹ 50,000 as incentives.
    • e-buses: Nearly 8000 e-buses with a maximum ex-factory price of ₹ 2 crores will receive an incentive of ₹ 50 lakh each.
  • Under the second phase of Fame India Scheme, the Government is hopeful of establishing 2700 charging stations in metros, smart cities, hilly states, and million-plus cities across the country. The grid measurement will follow a 3 km x 3 km layout.
  • The Government aims to cover highways as well and establish charging stations on both sides of the road with a gap of 25 km between two consecutive stations.

What are the Benefits of Fame India Scheme

  • Fame India scheme offers the following benefits:
  • Issues related to environmental and fuel conservation will be significantly reduced.
  • Vehicles from different segments will receive subsidy benefits accordingly.
  • Citizens can avail themselves of eco-friendly public transportation.
  • This scheme will allow individuals to reap the benefits of renewable energy sources through charging systems.
  • The establishment of charging stations in close proximity further encourages individuals to opt for electric vehicles.

Who Is Eligible for Fame India Scheme

  • The benefits of Fame India scheme is available for the following individuals:
  • Electric vehicle manufactures
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure providers
  • Now that you know the eligibility criteria of this scheme, let’s move on to learn about the application process.

40. Bharatmala Pariyojana

What is Bharatmala Pariyojana?

Bharatmala Pariyojana is a new umbrella program for the highways sector envisaged by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways that focuses on optimizing the efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country. 

Bharatmala Project Components:

  • Economic Corridor – As per the guidelines of the road construction project, the construction of 9000 km of Economic Corridors will be undertaken by the central government.
  • Feeder Route or Inter Corridor – The total length of the roads, that fall under the Feeder Route or Inter Corridor category, is a whopping 6000kms.
  • National Corridor Efficiency Improvement – 5000kms of roads, constructed under the scheme will fall in the category of National Corridor for the better connection between roads.
  • Border Road and International Connectivity – Connecting the cities and remote areas, which are situated in the border regions, the project has kept provision for constructing 2000 km of roads that fall in the Border Road or International Connectivity category.
  • Port Connectivity and Coastal Road – To connect the areas that are dotted along the shorelines and important ports, the central government has ordered the construction of 2000km of roads.
  • Green Field Expressway – The main stress will be given to the construction and development of Green Field Expressway for better management of traffic and freight.
  • Balance NHDP Works – Under the last segment, the project will see the construction and maintenance of about 10,000 km of new roads.

Features:

  • Improvement in the efficiency of existing corridors through the development of Multimodal Logistics Parks and elimination of chokepoints.
  • Multimodal Logistics Parks is a key policy initiative of the Government of India to improve the country’s logistics sector by lowering overall freight costs, reducing vehicular pollution and congestion, and cutting warehousing costs.
  • A chokepoint is a single point through which all incoming and outgoing network traffic is funneled and hence, leads to congestion and traffic.
  • Enhance focus on improving connectivity in the Northeast and leveraging synergies with Inland Waterways.
  • Emphasis on the use of scientific and technological planning for Project Preparation and Asset Monitoring.
  • Satellite mapping of corridors to identify up-gradation requirements.
  • Delegation of powers to expedite project delivery for successful completion of Phase I by 2022.

41. Sagarmala Project

About

  • The Sagarmala Project was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2015 which aims at holistic port infrastructure development along the 7,516-km long coastline through modernization, mechanization, and computerization.
  • The vision of the Sagarmala Programme is to reduce logistics costs for EXIM (Export-Import) and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment.
  • Sagarmala could boost India’s merchandise exports to USD 110 billion by 2025 and create an estimated 10 million new jobs (four million in direct employment).
  • The Ministry has started the ambitious Project of Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS) with potential airline operators.

Components of the Sagarmala Programme

  • Port Modernization & New Port Development: De-bottlenecking and capacity expansion of existing ports and development of new Greenfield ports.
  • Port Connectivity Enhancement: Enhancing the connectivity of the ports to the hinterland, optimizing cost and time of cargo movement through multi-modal logistics solutions including domestic waterways (inland water transport and coastal shipping).
  • Port-linked Industrialization: Developing port-proximate industrial clusters and Coastal Economic Zones to reduce logistics cost and time of EXIM and domestic cargo.Coastal Community Development: Promoting sustainable development of coastal communities through skill development & livelihood generation activities, fisheries development, coastal tourism etc.
  • Coastal Shipping & Inland Waterways Transport: Impetus to move cargo through the sustainable and environment-friendly coastal and inland waterways mode.

Institutional Framework of the Program

The program was created with platforms for collaboration between federal, state, and municipal authorities and was intended to be executed along the lines of cooperative federalism.
The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach is primarily used to carry out projects.

The National Sagarmala Apex Committee

  • It is chaired by the Union Minister of Shipping.
  • It also comprises Cabinet Ministers from other ministries with stakes in the program and the Chief Ministers or Ports’ Ministers of the maritime states.

Sagarmala Coordination and Steering Committee

  • It is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary.
  • It also comprises stakeholder ministries’ Secretaries and the maritime states’ Chief Secretaries.

State Sagarmala Committee

These are chaired by the respective state’s CM or the Minister of Ports.

Sagarmala Development Company

  • Sagarmala Development Company (SDC), which was set up under the Companies Act, 2013, comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Shipping.
  • It provides equity support to the project Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and funding support for the residual projects under the Sagarmala Programme.
  • The SDC would identify port-led development projects and assist project SPVs in project development and structuring activities, bidding out projects for private sector participation, putting suitable risk management measures in place for strategic projects, cutting across multiple states/regions, and obtaining requisite approvals and clearances.

Why is port-led development crucial for India?

  • India has a vast coastline of more than 7,500 kilometers and is situated along important global trade routes in the Indian Ocean.
  • However, capacity issues and a lack of modern facilities at Indian ports significantly extend the time it takes to carry products into and out of the nation, which has limited India’s contribution to global commerce.
    Creating inland canals out of rivers can also reduce domestic logistical expenses.
  • By 2025, Sagarmala may increase India’s exports of goods to $110 billion and provide an estimated 10 million new jobs (four million in direct employment).
  • The Sagarmala Project will enable India to improve its game in terms of commerce, logistics, and port development.
  • The Sagarmala Project will assist in establishing a network of roads, trains, and waterways. It will ultimately drive down the cost of various goods since water transportation is 5%–6% less expensive than other means of transportation. Additionally, it will contribute to an increase in India’s GDP.
  • The Sagarmala Pariyojna can provide more than a million people with assistance and full-time employment near ports and beaches.
  • The initiative will make it easier for those who live close to ports to make a good income. The funding will aid in the development of rural communities close to ports or beaches. Additionally, more accessible transport choices will boost tourism at these important locations.
  • Enhanced port connectivity and infrastructure will increase marine security. Furthermore, China’s Maritime Silk Road makes it strategically important. China has enduring difficulties. India must thus have a hold and a link between ports that can permanently fix such problems.
  • Having inland waterways will help encourage domestic logistics cost reductions. Overall transportation expenses will go down as a result.
  • The turnaround time taken is about 4 days, which is about 2 days at the global level. Hence, the Sagarmala Project is a game-changer in the field of logistics as it cuts down the turnaround time and costs related to it.
  • Apart from the turnaround time, the last mile connectivity is also an issue, as it is necessary to ensure the easy movement of cargo, which will eventually lead to economic growth and increased productivity.
  • The participation of inland waterways cargo is reduced as it counts up to only 6%, which is much less than other countries like China, the USA, etc.

Schemes for Urban Development

42. Smart City Mission 

About

Smart Cities Mission is an initiative by the Indian Government to improve people’s living quality in cities and towns by using best practices, information and digital technology, and more public-private partnerships.

Ministry

The Smart Cities Mission is an initiative of the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.

Vision

  • With an increase on urban population and rapid expansion of areas, government is looking at smarter ways to manage complexities, increase efficiencies and improve quality of life.
  • This has created a need for cities that monitor and integrate infrastructure to better optimise resources and maximise services to citizens.

Objective

The objective of the smart city initiative is to promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure to give a decent quality of life, a clean and sustainable environment through the application of some smart solutions such as data-driven traffic management, intelligent lighting systems, etc.

The core infrastructure elements in a Smart City are as follows:

  • Adequate water supply
  • Assured electricity supply
  • Sanitation including solid waste management
  • Efficient urban mobility and public transport
  • Affordable housing, especially for the poor
  • Robust IT connectivity and digitalisation
  • Good governance, especially e-governance and citizen participation
  • Sustainable environment
  • Safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly
  • Health and education
  • The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas, create a replicable model to serve as a beacon to other aspiring cities.

Coverage

  • The mission will cover 100 cities that have been distributed among the States /Union Territories (UT) on the basis of an equitable criteria.
  • The formula gives equal weightage (50:50) to urban population of the State/UT and the number of statutory towns (a town with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee) in the State/UT.
  • Based on this formula, each State/UT will, therefore, have a certain number of potential Smart Cities, with each State/UT having at least one.

Strategy

  • Components of area-based development in the 100 Smart Cities Mission in India comprise city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (greenfield development), along with a pan-city initiative.
  • Area-based development that will transform existing areas, including slums, into better planned residential areas by retrofitting and redevelopment, thereby improving habitability of the whole city
  • Greenfield projects that will develop new areas in the city to accommodate the expanding population in urban areas
  • Pan-city development envisaging the application of select smart solutions to the existing city-wide infrastructure

Administrative Structure

  • Guidelines on Smart City provide monitoring at three levels – national, state and city
  • National: An Apex Committee, headed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development and comprising representatives from related ministries and organisations, has the mandate to approve proposals, monitor progress and release funds.
  • State: A High Powered Steering Committee (HPSC) to be headed by the Chief Secretary of the State, which would steer the Smart City Mission as a whole.
  • City: A Smart City Advisory Forum in all Smart Cities, comprising the District Collector, Chief Executive Officer of Special Purpose Vehicle (an SPV is created for implementation at the city level. Its role is to release funds, and implement, monitor and evaluate the Smart City development projects), member of Parliament, member of Legislative Assembly, Mayor, local youth, technical experts and representatives of the area Resident Welfare Association to advise and enable collaboration.

Financing of Smart City Mission

  • In total, the government has funded a sum of Rs 7,20,000 crore.
  • On average Rs 100 crore per city over the five years.
  • The scheme will be operated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) on a 50:50 model, meaning Rs 50 crore will be contributed by the centre and Rs 50 crore by the state government or Union Territories.
  • States are expected to seek funds for projects outlined in the Smart City Proposal from multiple sources including the following:
    • Using State/ULB’s resources (from collection of user fees, beneficiary charges & impact fees, land monetisation, debt, loans, etc.)
    • Deploying additional resources transferred due to acceptance of recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC)
    • Utilising innovative finance mechanisms, such as municipal bonds with credit rating of ULBs, Pooled Finance Development Fund Scheme and Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
    • Leveraging borrowing from financial institutions including bilateral and multilateral institutions (both domestic and external sources)
    • Availing the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)

Implementation

  • The Union Ministry of Urban Development is responsible for implementing the mission.
  • Also, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in each state is created, headed by the CEO; they look after the implementation of the mission.

Proposals

  • Cities across the country were asked to submit proposals for projects to improve municipal services and to make their jurisdictions more liveable.
  • Between January 2016 and June 2018 (when the last city, Shillong, was chosen), the Ministry selected 100 cities for the Mission over five rounds.
  • The projects were supposed to be completed within five years of the selection of the city, but in 2021 the Ministry changed the deadline for all cities to June 2023, which was earlier the deadline for Shillong alone.

Need for The Mission

  • Cities accommodate ~31% of India’s current population and contribute 63% to the GDP (Census 2011).
  • By 2030, urban areas are expected to accommodate 40% of India’s population and contribute 75% to the GDP.
  • Population growth in cities leads to infrastructure management and service delivery challenges.
  • The Smart Cities Mission in India is an initiative that aims to efficiently and effectively tackle these challenges.

Features of Smart City Mission in India

  • It promotes mixed land use as per the area. With the mission, the states will have more flexibility to use the land for various purposes and make bye-laws as per the change. However, the fulfilment of environmental safeguards will be taken care of.
  • It aims to expand housing opportunities for everyone. Housing is one of the essential requirements for the growth of the Smart Cities Mission. Smart cities require more housing projects to cater to large and lower-income demographics.
  • Smart Cities Mission visions to reduce congestion, ensure security, reduce air pollution and promote interaction and local economy. New way pedestrians are built for walkers and cyclists to reduce accidents.
  • Development of playgrounds, parks, open gyms and other recreational spaces is another objective. This is done to enhance the quality of life for Indian citizens.
  • More transport options are promoted, like transit-oriented development (TOD) and public transport.
  • To bring transparency and accountability in governance, more online services are launched. For example, a citizen can use an online website instead of going to the municipal offices.
  • Identity is provided to the city based on the education sector, health sector, local cuisine, sports, culture, art, furniture
  • Smart Solutions are applied to infrastructure and services for area development.

43. The AMRUT Mission

About

  • To ensure that every household has access to a tap with the assured supply of water and a sewerage connection.
  • The Priority zone of the Mission is water supply followed by sewerage.
  • To increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces (e.g. parks).
  • To reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorized transport (e.g. walking and cycling).

Components

  • Capacity building, reform implementation, water supply, sewerage and septage management, storm water drainage, urban transport and development of green spaces and parks.
  • The reforms aim at improving delivery of citizen services, bringing down the cost of delivery, improving financial health, augmenting resources and enhancing transparency. It also includes replacement of street lights with LED lights.
  • Central Sponsored Scheme: Total outlay for AMRUT was Rs. 50,000 crores for five years from FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20.
  • Unable to meet set targets for urban renewal in 500 cities, the Centre has extended the mission period of AMRUT upto 31st March, 2021.

State Annual Action Plan (SAAP)

  • AMRUT has made states equal partners in planning and implementation of projects by approval of SAAP once a year by MoHUA and states have to give project sanctions and approval at their end, therefore actualisation of cooperative federalism.
  • Supervision: An Apex Committee (AC), chaired by the Secretary, MoHUA and comprising representatives of related Ministries and organisations supervises the Mission.

Status of AMRUT Mission in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh

  • Himachal Pradesh is ranked 15th and Uttarakhand 24th in AMRUT’s National rankings (performance-based).
  • Odisha topped the rankings.
  • Both the States have implemented the Online Building Permission System (OBPS) in their Mission cities.
  • OBPS is a part of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and should be implemented in all the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) apart from Mission cities.
  • The Credit Rating work has been completed in all Mission cities in the two States.
  • Credit rating is an assessment of an ULB’s ability to pay its financial obligations.
  • Both the States were informed that the Ministry has developed a common Dashboard for all the Missions (e.g. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban, Smart Cities Mission) of the Ministry where information relating to all States/UT and cities would be available. The States/UT may use this facility for monitoring the progress.
  • States were requested to update the details of Missions regularly so that the progress would be updated in the portal/dashboard. This data is used for monitoring, reviewing and assessment of monthly rankings on the progress among the states.

44. Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban

About

  • Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) was launched on 2nd October, 2014, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs as a national campaign to promote cleanliness, sanitation, and proper waste management in urban areas.
  • It aimed to make cities and towns across India clean and free from open defecation.

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 1.0

  • The first phase of SBM-U focused on achieving the target of making urban India ODF by providing access to toilets and promoting behavioral change.
  • SBM-U 1.0 was successful in achieving the target and 100% of urban India was declared ODF.

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 (2021-2026)

  • SBM-U 2.0, announced in Budget 2021-22, is the continuation of SBM-U first phase.
  • The second phase of SBM-U aimed to go beyond ODF to ODF+, and ODF++, and focus on making urban India garbage-free.
  • It emphasized sustainable sanitation practices, waste management, and the promotion of a circular economy.

Achievements of Swachh Bharat Mission

  • 12 crore toilets have been built in the last nine years, liberating the country from the scourge of open defecation and 75% of the total villages have achieved the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus status.
  • Urban India has become Open Defecation Free (ODF), with all 4,715 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) completely ODF.
  • 3,547 ULBs are ODF+ with functional and hygienic community and public toilets, and 1,191 ULBs are ODF++ with complete faecal sludge management.
  • 14 cities are certified Water+, which entails treatment of wastewater and its optimum reuse.

What are the Shortcomings of SBM

  • Decline in Regular Toilet Use: Despite the initial success in increasing toilet access, the paper highlights a decline in regular toilet usage in rural India from 2018-19 onwards, raising concerns about the sustainability of the program.
  • Disproportionate Impact on Marginalized Groups: The largest drop in toilet usage was observed among Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) socio-economic groups, indicating that the program’s benefits have not been equally sustained across all segments of society.
  • Concerns about Sustainability: The decline in toilet usage in recent years raises questions about the sustainability of the program’s achievements, casting doubt on the long-term impact and behavioral change intended by SBM.
  • Spatial Variation in Toilet Use:
  • At the national level, regular use of any toilet (improved or unimproved) increased from 46% to 75% on average in rural areas during 2015-16 and 2019-21.
  • This increase was across all population and socio-economic sub-groups, and especially pronounced for the poor and socially disadvantaged groups
  • But even as the regular use of any toilet for SC and ST people saw a jump of 51 and 58% points respectively between 2015-16 and 2018-19 – reaching almost the same levels as those in the General Category, gains were reversing since then.

Challenges in Richer States

  • Despite progress, wealthier states showed mixed performance and smaller gains in toilet use compared to economically poorer states, highlighting the need for tailored strategies in different socio-economic contexts.
  • States like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Gujarat showed smaller progress in regular toilet use compared to economically disadvantaged states, indicating that the program did not have the same impact across all states.

Schemes of Cultural Developement

45. PM Vishwakarma Scheme

About

  • The scheme is designed to uplift traditional artisans and craftspeople engaged in various occupations like blacksmithing, goldsmithing, pottery, carpentry, and sculpting, with a focus on preserving cultural heritage and integrating them into the formal economy and global value chains.
  • It will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Government of India.

Ministry

  • Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoMSME) is the Nodal Ministry for the Scheme.
  • The Scheme will be jointly implemented by the MoMSME, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

Features

  • Recognition and Support: Artisans and craftspeople enrolled in the scheme will receive a PM Vishwakarma certificate and an identity card.
  • They will also be eligible for collateral-free credit support of up to Rs 1 lakh (first tranche) and Rs 2 lakh (second tranche) at a concessional interest rate of 5%.
  • Skill Development and Empowerment: The Scheme has been allocated a budget ranging from Rs 13,000 crore for five financial years from 2023-2024 to 2027-2028.
  • The scheme offers a stipend of Rs 500 for skill training per day and Rs 15,000 grant for the purchase of modern tools.
  • Scope and Coverage: The scheme encompasses 18 traditional trades across both rural and urban areas.
  • These trades encompass carpenters, boat-makers, blacksmiths, potters, sculptors, cobblers, tailors, and more.
  • Registration and Implementation: Registration for the Vishwakarma Yojana can be completed at common services centers in villages.
  • While the central government will provide funding for the scheme, state governments’ support will also be sought.

Objectives

  • To ensure that artisans are seamlessly integrated into both domestic and global value chains, thus enhancing their market access and opportunities.
  • Preservation and promotion of India’s rich cultural heritage of traditional crafts.
  • Assisting artisans in transitioning to the formal economy and integrating them into global value chains.

Significance

  • Vishwakarmas (Traditional Artisans) play a critical role in society regardless of technological advancements.
  • There is a need to recognize and support these artisans and integrate them into the global supply chain.

46. Mera Gaon, Meri Dharohar (MGMD) Programme

  • The MGMD Programme is a national mission on cultural mapping conducted in coordination with Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) under the Ministry of Culture.
  • A web portal on MGMD has also been launched. MGMD aims to compile comprehensive information about Indian villages, covering aspects of life, history, and ethos, accessible to both virtual and real-time visitors.
  • Under the MGMD, information is collected under seven broad categories:
    • Arts and Crafts Village
    • Ecologically Oriented Village
    • Scholastic Village linked with Textual and Scriptural Traditions of India
    • Epic Village linked with Ramayana, Mahabharata and/or Puranic legends and oral epics
    • Historical Village linked with Local and National History
    • Architectural Heritage Village
    • Any other characteristic that may need highlighting such as fishing village, horticulture village, shepherding village etc.
  • MGMD is a component of National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM), undertaken as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM).
  • Under the MGMD cultural mapping of 6.5 lakh villages is being carried out and more than 2 Lakh villages have already been mapped and uploaded on the Mission portal that serves as the National Cultural Work Place.

Scheme of Financial Assistance for the Promotion of Art and Culture:

  • It is a central sector scheme, that aims to support various cultural activities and organizations in the country. The scheme has 8 components, each with a different objective and funding amount.
  • The scheme for Financial Assistance for the Promotion of Art and Culture consists of 8 Components, they are:

Financial Assistance to Cultural organizations with National Presence:

  • Provide financial support to reputed cultural organizations with a national presence to disseminate and propagate art & culture.
  • This grant is given to such organizations that are properly constituted managing bodies registered in India with an All India Character and have adequate working strength and a track record of spending Rs. 1 crore or more during any 3 of the last 5 years on cultural activities.
  • Maximum Grant: Up to Rs. 1 crore.

Cultural Function & Production Grant (CFPG):

  • Provide financial support for various cultural activities including seminars, conferences, research, workshops, festivals, exhibitions, and productions.
  • Maximum Grant: Rs. 5 lakh, extendable up to Rs. 20 lakh under exceptional circumstances.

Financial Assistance for the Preservation & Development of Cultural Heritage of the Himalayas:

  • Promote and preserve the cultural heritage of the Himalayas through research, training, and dissemination.
  • Funding: Rs. 10 lakhs per year for an organization, extendable up to Rs. 30 lakhs in exceptional cases.

Financial Assistance for the Preservation & Development of Buddhist/Tibetan Organisations:

  • Support voluntary Buddhist/Tibetan organizations, including monasteries, in propagating and developing Buddhist/Tibetan cultural traditions.
  • Funding: Rs. 30 lakhs per year for an organization, extendable up to Rs. 1 crore in exceptional cases.

Financial Assistance for Building Grants including Studio Theatres:

  • Provide financial support for creating cultural infrastructure such as studio theatres, auditoriums, rehearsal halls, etc.
  • Maximum Grant: Up to Rs. 50 lakh in metro cities and up to Rs. 25 lakh in non-metro cities.

Financial Assistance For Allied Cultural Activities:

  • Support organizations in creating assets to enhance audio-visual spectacles for cultural activities during festivals and major events.
  • Maximum Assistance: Audio: Rs. 1 crore, Audio+Video: Rs. 1.50 crore.

Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage:

This scheme was launched by the Ministry of Culture in 2013 to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage and diverse cultural traditions of India through revitalization and promotion.

Domestic Festivals and Fairs:

The objective of this scheme is to assist in holding the ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsavs’ organized by the Ministry of Culture.

47. Sewa Bhoj

About

  • Seva Bhoj Yojna’ is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
  • It envisages to reimburse the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) so as to lessen the financial burden of such Charitable Religious Institutions who provide Food/Prasad/Langar (Community Kitchen)/Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees.
  • The scheme is being implemented from 01.08.2018 with a total outlay of Rs. 325.00 Crores for Financial Years 2018-19 and 2019-20.

About Seva Bhoj Yojana

  • Union Ministry of Culture has launched- ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’– a scheme to reimburse central share of CGST and IGST on food, prasad, langar or bhandara offered by religious and charitable institutions.
  • The scheme seeks to reimburse the central government’s share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) on purchase of raw items such as ghee, edible oil, atta, maida, rava, flour, rice pulses, sugar and jaggery, which go into preparation of food/prasad/langar/bhandara offered free of cost by religious institutions.

Objective

  • The main objective of the scheme is to lessen the financial burden of such charitable religious institutions, which provide free of cost without any discrimination to the general public and devotees.
  • Type of activities supported under the scheme
  • Free ‘prasad’ or free food or free ‘langar’ / ‘bhandara’ (community kitchen) offered by charitable religious institutions like Gurudwara, Temples, Dharmik Ashram, Mosques, Dargah, Church, Mutt, Monasteries etc.
  • Financial Assistance will be provided on First-cum-First Serve basis of registration linked to fund available for the purpose in a Financial Year.

Quantum of Assistance

  • Financial Assistance in the form of reimbursement shall be provided where the institution has already paid GST on all or any of the raw food items listed below :
    • Ghee
    • Edible oil
    • Sugar / Burra / Jaggery
    • Rice
    • Atta / Maida / Rava /Flour
    • Pulses
  • The total amount of CGST and Central Government’s share of IGST that would be reimbursed on purchases in the Financial Year 2019-20 will be capped at a maximum of 10% of the current financial year i.e. 2018-19.

Criteria for Financial Assistance

  • A Public Trust or society or body corporate, or organisation or institution covered under the provisions of section 10 (23BBA) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (as amended from time to time) or registered under the provisions of section 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, for religious and charitable purposes, or a company formed and registered under the provisions of section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 or section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956, as the case may be, for religious and charitable purposes, or a Public Trust registered as such for religious and charitable purposes under any Law for the time being in force, or a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, for religious and charitable purposes.
  • The applicant Public Trust or society or body corporate, or organisation or institution, as the case may be, must be involved in both religious and charitable activities by way of free and philanthropic distribution of food/prasad/ langar (Community Kitchen) / bhandara free of cost and without discrimination through the modus of public, religious and charitable trusts or endowments including mutts, temples, gurdwaras, wakfs, churches, synagogues, agiaries or other places of public religious worship.
  • The institutions/organizations should have been in existence for preceding three years before applying for assistance.
  • Only those institutions would be eligible for financial assistance which have been distributing free food, langar and prasad to public for at-least past three years on the day of application. For this purpose, entities shall furnish a self-certificate.
  • Financial Assistance under the scheme shall be given only to those institutions which are not in receipt any Financial Assistance from the Central /State Government for the purpose of distributing free food: self-certificate
  • The institutions shall serve free food to at least 5000 people in a calendar month.
  • The Institution/Organization blacklisted under the provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) or under the provisions of any Act/Rules of the Central/State Government shall not be eligible for Financial Assistance under the Scheme.

Schemes for Drugs and Cosmetics

48. Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks 

About

To promote domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials/Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in the country.

Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks Scheme

  • Number of Parks: The government aims to develop 3 mega Bulk Drug parks in India in partnership with States.
  • Funding: Government of India will give Grants-in-Aid to States with a maximum limit of Rs. 1000 Crore per Bulk Drug Park. A sum of Rs. 3,000 crore has been approved for this scheme for next 5 years.
  • Facilities: Parks will have common facilities such as solvent recovery plant, distillation plant, power & steam units, common effluent treatment plant etc.
  • Need of the Scheme: Despite being 3rd largest in the world by volume the Indian pharmaceutical industry is significantly dependent on import of basic raw materials, viz., Bulk Drugs that are used to produce medicines. In some specific bulk drugs the import dependence is 80 to 100%.
  • Objectives: The scheme is expected to reduce manufacturing cost of bulk drugs in the country and dependency on other countries for bulk drugs.
    The scheme will also help in providing continuous supply of drugs and ensure delivery of affordable healthcare to the citizens.
  • Implementation: The scheme will be implemented by State Implementing Agencies (SIA) to be set up by the respective State Governments.

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme

  • Aim: The PLI scheme aims to promote domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in the country.
  • Funding: Under the scheme financial incentive will be given to eligible manufacturers of identified 53 critical bulk drugs on their incremental sales over the base year (2019-20) for a period of 6 years.
  • Impact: PLI scheme will reduce India’s import dependence on other countries for critical KSMs/Drug Intermediates and APIs.
    This will lead to expected incremental sales of Rs.46,400 crore and significant additional employment generation over 8 years.
  • Implementation: The scheme will be implemented through a Project Management Agency (PMA) to be nominated by the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

Schemes for Educational Development

49. Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM-SHRI) Yojana

About

  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme for upgradation and development of more than 14500 Schools across the country.
  • It aims at strengthening the selected existing schools from amongst schools managed by Central Government/ State/ UT Government/ local bodies.

Significance

  • It will showcase all components of the National Education Policy 2020 and act as exemplar schools and also offer mentorship to other schools in their vicinity.
  • The aim of these schools will not only be qualitative teaching, learning and cognitive development, but also creating holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped with key 21st century skills.
  • Pedagogy adopted in these schools will be more experiential, holistic, integrated, play/toy-based, inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centred, discussion-based, flexible and enjoyable.Focus will be on achieving proficiency in learning outcomes of every child in every grade.
  • Assessment at all levels will be based on conceptual understanding and application of knowledge to real life situations and will be competency-based.
  • These schools will be equipped with modern infrastructure including labs, smart classrooms, libraries, sports equipment, art room etc. which is inclusive and accessible.
  • These schools shall also be developed as green schools with water conservation, waste recyclingenergy-efficient infrastructure and integration of organic lifestyle in curriculum.

Schemes for Health

50. Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY

About

  • PM-JAY is the world’s largest health insurance/ assurance scheme fully financed by the government.
  • Launched in February 2018, it offers a sum insured of Rs.5 lakh per family for secondary care (which doesn’t involve a super specialist) as well as tertiary care (which involves a super specialist).
  • Under PMJAY, cashless and paperless access to services are provided to the beneficiaries at the point of service, that is, hospital.
  • Health Benefit Packages covers surgery, medical and day care treatments, cost of medicines and diagnostics.
  • Packaged rates (Rates that include everything so that each product or service is not charged for separately).
  • These are flexible but the hospitals can’t charge the beneficiary more once fixed.

Beneficiaries

  • It is an entitlement-based scheme that targets the beneficiaries as identified by latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data.
  • Once identified by the database, the beneficiary is considered insured and can walk into any empaneled hospital.

Funding

The funding for the scheme is shared – 60:40 for all states and UTs with their own legislature, 90:10 in Northeast states and Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand and 100% Central funding for UTs without legislature.

Nodal Agency

  • The National Health Authority (NHA) has been constituted as an autonomous entity under the Society Registration Act, 1860 for effective implementation of PM-JAY in alliance with state governments.
  • The State Health Agency (SHA) is the apex body of the State Government responsible for the implementation of AB PM-JAY in the State.

Challenges in Implementing PMJAY

Cooperation of States

  • Since health is a State subject and States are expected to contribute 40% funding for the scheme, it is critical to streamline and harmonise the existing State health insurance schemes to PMJAY.
  • West Bengal and Odisha have not implemented PMJAY.

Burden of Costs

Costs are a contested area between the care-providers and the Centre, and many for-profit hospitals see the government’s proposals as unviable.

Inadequate Health Capacities

  • The ill-equipped public sector health capacities calls for necessary partnerships and coalitions with private sector providers.
  • In such circumstances, the provision of services can be ensured only if the providers are held accountable for their services.

Unnecessary Treatment

  • The National Health Policy 2017 proposed “strategic purchasing” of services from secondary and tertiary hospitals for a fee.
  • The contracts with the healthcare providers who will receive the financial compensation package should clearly spell out the strict following of notified guidelines and standard treatment protocols in order to keep a check on potential for unnecessary treatment.

Related Links:

PM Vishwakarma SchemeSwachh Bharat Abhiyan
Smart City MissionFAME India
UPSC 2025 StrategyUPSC Syllabus
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