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06 Feb Current Affairs

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY)

Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana:

The Scheme aims at providing Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from any of the age related disability/infirmity Low vision, Hearing impairment, Loss of teeth and Locomotor disability, with such assisted-living devices which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions, overcoming the disability/infirmity manifested.

This is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Central Government. The expenditure for implementation of the scheme will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund“.

Under the scheme, free of cost distribution of the devices, commensurate with the extent of disability/infirmity that is manifested among the eligible senior citizens will take place.

In case of multiple disabilities/infirmities manifested in the same person, the assistive devices will be given in respect of each disability/impairment.

Beneficiaries in each district will be identified by the State Governments/UT Administrations through a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector.

As far as possible, 30% of the beneficiaries in each district shall be women.

Way ahead:

With more than 70% of the 104 million elderly living in the rural hinterland, any serious initiative to improve the lot of senior citizens must incorporate adequate budgetary support for social welfare spending on the relevant programmes.

With the number of the elderly in India set to surge by 2050 to almost 300 million, or about a fifth of the population, governments need to make more comprehensive efforts to address the problems of elderly.

Source: The Hindu

Asia LPG Summit

In News:

2nd edition of the Asia LPG Summit is being held in New Delhi.

Details:

The summit is being organized by the World LPG Association (WLPGA) in association with major Indian public-sector oil companies (OMCs) Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum, and Bharat Petroleum.

Objectives of the summit:

The summit will offer a unique opportunity to the global LPG industry to interact with development agencies, NGOs and non-profit organizations who have facilitated last-mile access to LPG for the beneficiaries.

The summit will also bring together academia and private sector to exchange their views on the use of LPG and how pathbreaking initiatives such as ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ can bring remarkable socio-economic transformation.

About World LPG Association:

The World LPG Association (WLPGA) is the authoritative global voice for the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry and the worldwide industry association which represents the interests of the LPG industry globally.

The WLPGA promotes the use of LPG to foster a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous world.

With over 200 members and presence in more than 125 countries, the WLPGA represents the interests of private and public companies from the entire LPG value chain under one umbrella.

The WLPGA provides a platform for the exchange of best practices, facts and figures among its members.

The Association regularly organises interactive meetings between technical experts, members and key stakeholders to demonstrate the benefits of LPG.

The WLPGA was officially granted Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1989. Publications such as its Annual Statistical Review have become LPG industry references.

Source: The Hindu

Safe City project

In News:

Empowered Committee of Officers for Nirbhaya funds scheme has approved pilot Safe City projects in eight selected metropolitan cities, namely, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Lucknow with a view to provide safety to women in public places.

Details:

The project would be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with Centre and State sharing the funding in 60:40 ratio.

The major components of the Safe City project include, inter-alia:

Setting up an Integrated Smart Control Room;

Setting up Pink Out-posts (exclusively administered by Women police) for facilitating ease of filing complaint by women;

Pink Patrols of Women police;

Setting up Women Help Desks in all Police Stations with Counsellors;

Augmentation of existing Asha Jyoti Kendra;

Implementing Safety measures in buses, including Cameras;

Improving Street Lighting in identified Hot Spot areas;

Setting up Pink Toilets;

Integration of Women power-help line with single Emergency number.

Sentinelese Tribe

In News:

The Government has promulgated various laws/regulations from time to time to ensure that the rights and well-being of the Sentinelese are safeguarded.

Steps taken to ensure the protection of Sentinelese:

The entire North Sentinel Island along with 5 km coastal sea from high water mark is notified as tribal reserve.

The Government respects their way of life style, therefore, has adopted an ‘eyes-on and hands-off’ practice to protect and safeguard the Sentinelese tribe.

A protocol of circumnavigation of the North Sentinel Island has been notified. The ships and aircrafts of Coast Guard and boats of Marine Police make sorties around North Sentinel to keep surveillance.

They have been protected under:

A &N Islands (PAT) Regulation 1956.

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Restrictions under Foreigner (Restricted Area) Orders, 1963.

Visa Manual Conditions/Passport Act 1920, Indian Forest Act, 1927 and Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Who are the Sentinelese?

The Sentinelese are a negrito tribe who live on the North Sentinel Island of the Andamans. The inhabitants are connected to the Jarawa on the basis of physical, as well as linguistic similarities. Their numbers are believed to be less than 150 and as low as 40.

Based on carbon dating of kitchen middens by the Anthropological Survey of India, Sentinelese presence was confirmed in the islands to 2,000 years ago. Genome studies indicate that the Andaman tribes could have been on the islands even 30,000 years ago.

Why are they said to be vulnerable?

It is said they have made little to no advancement in the over 60,000 years and still live very primitive lives, surviving mainly on fish and coconuts.

They are very vulnerable to germs since they have not had contact with the outside world. Even a common flu virus carried by a visitor could wipe out the entire tribe.

Since the 1960s, there have been a handful of efforts to reach out to the tribe but all have largely failed. They have repeatedly, aggressively made it clear that they want to be isolated.

Conclusion:

Currently, there is a one-size-fits-all policy. For instance, the Sentinelese should be left alone. The rights and the desires of the Sentinelese need to be respected and nothing is to be achieved by escalating the conflict and tension.

Kisan Credit Card Scheme

In News:

The Indian Banking Association (IBA) has issued advisory guidelines requesting banks to waive off the processing, documentation, inspection, ledger folio charges and all other service charges for crop loans up to Rs 3 Lakhs or for the Kisan Credit Card Scheme. The move aims to provide direct benefit to farmers and ease the pressure on them.

Campaign:

The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare has announced the launch of campaign with immediate effect to saturate farmers for financial inclusion under Kisan Credit Cards (KCC).

This campaign will be launched through the Financial Institutions including Commercial Banks, Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks in collaboration with the State Governments. The Department of Financial Services has already issued directives to these financial institutions under their purview. There are around 6.95 crore active KCCs.

Kisan Credit Card Scheme:

The Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme was announced in the Budget speech of 1998-99 to fulfil the financial requirements of the farmers at various stages of farming through institutional credit.

The model scheme was prepared by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on the recommendation of V Gupta committee.

The KCC scheme is being implemented by the all Co-operative banks, Regional Rural Banks and Public Sector Banks throughout the country.

Scheme covers risk of KCC holders against death or permanent disability resulting from accidents.

Objectives:

To provide adequate and timely credit support from the banking system to the farmers at the cheap rate of interest.

To provide credit at the time of requirement.

To support post-harvest expenses.

To provide Working capital for maintenance of farm assets and activities allied to agriculture.

Investment credit requirement for agriculture and allied activities (land development, pump sets, plantation, drip irrigation etc.)

Consumption requirements of farmers.

Other Salient features of the Scheme:

Revolving cash credit facility involving any number of drawals and repayments within the limit.

Limit to be fixed on the basis of operational land holding, cropping pattern and scale of finance.

Entire production credit needs for full year plus ancillary activities related to crop production to be considered while fixing limit.

Card valid for 5 years subject to annual review. As incentive for good performance, credit limits could be enhanced to take care of increase in costs, change in cropping pattern, etc.

Conversion/reschedulement of loans also permissible in case of damage to crops due to natural calamities.

Operations may be through issuing branch (and also PACS in the case of Cooperative Banks) through other designated branches at the discretion of bank.

Crop loans disbursed under KCC Scheme for notified crops are covered under Crop Insurance Scheme, to protect the interest of the farmer against loss of crop yield caused by natural calamities, pest attacks etc.

Source: The Hindu

India’s communication satellite GSAT-31 launched from French Guiana

In News:

Indian Space Research Organisation’s latest communication satellite, GSAT-31 was successfully launched by Arianespace aboard its launch vehicle Ariane 5 from the spaceport in French Guiana recently.

Ariane 5 carried two communication satellites:

Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 and Hellas Sat.

ISRO’s GSAT-31.

About GSAT- 31:

A telecommunications satellite designed and manufactured by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

India’s 40th communication satellite and derives its heritage from ISROs earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series.

It will be placed in Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) using its onboard propulsion system.

It has a unique configuration of providing flexible frequency segments and flexible coverage. Hence, it will provide communication services to Indian mainland and islands.

It will also provide DTH Television Services, connectivity to VSATs for ATM, Stock-exchange, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and e-governance applications. The satellite will also be used for bulk data transfer for a host of emerging telecommunication applications.

Key Objectives:

Augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit for at least 15 years.

Provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites.

Help bridge the digital divide in the Indian subcontinent as part of an ambitious Indian space program, whose objectives are to develop India while pursuing scientific research and planetary exploration.

Source: The Hindu

Flamingo sanctuary

In News:

A committee, chaired by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, has accorded wildlife clearance to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed train corridor that encroaches upon a flamingo sanctuary and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the home to leopards, in Mumbai.

About Sanjay Gandhi National Park: Sanjay Gandhi National Park is spread over three districts – Palgar, Thane and Mumbai Suburb. The National Park is home to a number of endangered species of flora and fauna and harbours approximately 800 species of flowering plants, 45 species of mammals, 43 species of reptiles among others.

Flamingo sanctuary: Western side of the Thane creek is a dedicated flamingo sanctuary. Thane Creek is home to flamingos as well as other migratory and residential bird species. It is Maharashtra’s second marine sanctuary after the one at Malvan.

Sangeet Natak Akademi

In News:

President of India to confer Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the Year 2017.

About Sangeet Natak Akademi:

The Sangeet Natak Akademi – India’s national academy for music, dance and drama – is the first National Academy of the arts set-up by the Republic of India. It was created by a resolution of Government of India.

It was set up in 1952.

The academy functions as the apex body of the performing arts in the country to preserve and promote the vast cultural heritage of India expressed in music, dance and drama.

It also works with governments and art academies in states and territories of the country.

The academy Renders advice and assistance to the government of India in the task of formulating and implementing policies and programmes in the field. It carries a part of the responsibilities of the state for fostering cultural contacts between regions in the country, as well as between India and the world.

The Akademi Awards are the highest national recognition conferred on eminent artistes. Each year the Academy awards Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships, Ratna Sadsya, to distinguished individuals for their contribution to the field of arts, music, dance and theatre. Ustad Bismillah Khan award is given to young artists for their talent in the fields of music, dance and drama.

Categorisation of Farmers

In News:

In agriculture Census, the operational holdings are categorised in five size classes as follows:

Marginal: Below 1.00 hectare.

Small: 1.00-2.00 hectare.

Semi- Medium: 2.00-4.00 hectare.

Medium: 4.00-10.00 hectare.

Large: 10.00 hectare and above.

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