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Polity and Governance

PRADHAN MANTRI FASAL BIMA YOJNA | NEW GUIDELINES

Why in News?

Government modifies operational guidelines for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY).
About the News

  • It has decided to incorporate the provision of penalties for States and Insurance Companies for the delay in settlement of insurance claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal BimaYojana (PMFBY).
  • The farmers will be paid 12% interest by insurance companies for the delay in settlement claims beyond two months of prescribed cut-off date.
  • State Governments will have to pay 12% interest for the delay in release of State share of subsidy beyond three months of prescribed cut-off date submission of requisition by insurance companies.
  • The new operational guidelines come at the onset of the rabi season, which starts from 1stof October.
  • It also detail a Standard Operating Procedure for evaluation of insurance companies and remove them from the scheme if found ineffective in providing services.
  • The Government has also decided to include perennial horticultural crops under the ambit of PMFBY on a pilot basis.
  • While hailstorms, unseasonal and cyclonic rainfall would be considered for assessing post-harvest losses, natural fire, landslide, inundation and cloudburst have been included in localised calamities. 
  • The scheme, as per the new operational guidelines provides add on coverage for crop loss due to attack of wild animals, which will be implemented on a pilot basis.
  • Aadhaar number will be mandatorily captured to avoid duplication of beneficiaries.

About PMFBY

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is the crop damage insurance scheme that has been approved by the Union Cabinet in January 2016.
  • It has replaced the existing two crop insurance schemes National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified NAIS.
  • The new scheme came into force from the Kharif season started in June 2016.
  • The scheme covers kharif, rabi crops as well as annual commercial and horticultural crops.
  • There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 5% for all Rabi crops.
  • In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
  • Premium charged from farmers will be lowest ever.
  • The remaining share of premium will be borne equally by the central and respective state governments.
  • The Scheme shall be implemented on an Area Approach basis.
SWACHH VIDYALAYA PURASKAR 

HRD Minister confers Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar.

About

  • The Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar was instituted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2016 to recognize, inspire and celebrate excellence in sanitation and hygiene practice in schools.
  • The explicit purpose of the awards is to honour schools that have undertaken significant steps towards fulfilling the mandate of the Swachh Vidyalaya Campaign.
  • The awards will be open to Government Schools, Government Aided Schools and Private Schools, in both rural and urban areas.
  • The performance of the schools will be evaluated under the following categories
  1. Water
  2. Toilets
  3. Handwashing with Soap
  4. Operations and Maintenance
  5. Behaviour Change and Capacity Building.

Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development launched ‘Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya’ (SBSV) initiative in 2014.
  • It is to ensure that all schools in India have access to separate functional toilets for boys and girls.
  • The initiative also has its emphasis on promoting safe and appropriate hygiene practices in schools and behaviour among children.

Science and Technology

CYCLONE-30 | CYCLOTRON

Why in News?

Medical Cyclotron Facility Cyclone-30 Became Operational at Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC), Kolkata.

About

  • Cyclotrons are used to produce radioisotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic use for cancer care.
  • Cyclone-30, the biggest cyclotron in India for medical application became operational when 30 MeV beam reached the Faraday Cup for the first time.
  • A Faraday cup is a metal (conductive) cup designed to catch charged particles in vacuum. The resulting current can be measured and used to determine the number of ions or electrons hitting the cup.
  • Subsequently, beam from this facility was used to produce Fluorine-18 isotope for the preparation of Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), a radio-pharmaceutical used by Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology (BRIT).
  • This facility will provide for affordable radio isotopes and related radiopharmaceuticals for the entire country especially, for Eastern India.
  • It also have export potential for Germanium-68/Gallium-68 generator for in-situ production of Gallium-68 and Palladium-103 isotopes, used for breast cancer diagnosis and prostate cancer treatment, respectively.

Securtiy

AKASH MISSILE | SRSAM

Why in News?

The Army, which is inducting the indigenously developed Akash short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) system, will get an upgraded variant. 

About the News

The upgraded version will include the seeker technology and possess a 360-degree coverage, and will be of compact configuration.

About Akash Missile

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed Akash as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme initiated in 1984.
  • It is made by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
  • Akash has a range of 25 km and carries a 55 KG fragmentation warhead.
  • It can engage multiple aerial targets at a time in all-weather conditions.
  • It has a large operational envelope, from 30 metre to a maximum of 20 km.
  • Each regiment consists of six launchers, each having three missiles.
  • It uses state of art integral ramjet rocket propulsion system.

About Ramjet Rocket Propulsion System

  • A ramjet is a form of air breathing jet engine that uses the engine's forward motion to compress incoming air without an axial compressor or a centrifugal compressor.
  • Because ramjets cannot produce thrust at zero airspeed, they cannot move an aircraft from a standstill.
  • A ramjet-powered vehicle, therefore, requires an assisted take-off like a rocket assist to accelerate it to a speed where it begins to produce thrust

Current Affair Capsules

E-SAHAJ PORTAL
  • Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) launched an online ‘e-Sahaj’ portal for grant of Security Clearance.
  • The portal will facilitate an applicant to submit application online and also to view the status of his application from time to time.
  • MHA is the nodal Ministry for security clearances in certain sensitive sectors before issue of licence/permit, permission, contract etc, to companies/ bidders/individuals by the administrative Ministry.
  • The objective of national security clearance is to evaluate potential security threats, including economic threats, and provide risk assessment before clearing investment and project proposals in key sectors.
COOLING ACTION PLAN | INDIA
  • India is the first country in world to develop a Cooling Action Plan (ICAP).
  • It gives thrust towards looking for synergies in actions for securing both environmental and socio-economic benefits.
  • Goals include
  • Reduce refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by year 2037-38.
  • Reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25 % by year 2037-38.
  • Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by year 2037-38.
  • Train and certify 100,000 servicing sector technicians by 2022-23, in synergy with Skill India Mission.
  • Recognize cooling and related areas as thrust area of research under national science and technology programme to support development of technological solutions and encourage innovation challenges.