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Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana

Why in news?

326 Districts from all State/UTs Administration selected for implementation of Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana.

About the scheme

  • It is a scheme for providing physical aids and Assisted Living Devices for Senior Citizens belonging to BPL category.
  • It was introduced by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on 1st April, 2017.
  • It has the objective of providing Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from age related disabilities/ infirmities, with such physical aids and assisted living devices which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions.
  • Under the Scheme, assisted living devices such as Walking Sticks, Elbow Crutches, Walkers/ Crutches, Tripods/ Quadpods, Hearing Aids, Wheelchairs, Artificial Dentures and Spectacles are provided free of cost to the beneficiary senior citizens.
  • The Scheme is entirely funded from the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund (SCWF).
 

Implementation

  • The Scheme is being implemented through the “Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO)” as the sole Implementing Agency.
  • ALIMCO is a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of SJ&E.
  • The devices are distributed in the camp mode.
  • The beneficiaries are identified through Assessment Camps organised in collaboration with the respective State Government/District Administration.
  • For the senior citizens aged 80 years or more, the devices are provided at their doorsteps.
National Food Security Act

Why in news?

The stock of food grains in the Central Pool as on 1st June, 2019 was 741.41 lakh tons consisting of 275.81 lakh tons of rice and 465.60 lakh tons of wheat.

About the act

  • The National Food Security Act, 2013 is an Act of the Parliament of India which aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India's 1.2 billion people.
  • It is also known as Right to Food Act.
  • National Food Security Act (NFSA) was enacted on July, 2013.

Provisions

  • It gives legal entitlement to 67% of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas) to receive highly subsidized food grains.
  • Under the Act, food grain is allocated @ 5 kg per person per month for priority households category and @ 35 kg per family per month for AAY families at a highly subsidized prices of Rs. 1/-, Rs. 2/- and Rs. 3/- per kg for nutri-cereals, wheat and rice respectively.
  • Coverage under the Act is based on the population figures of Census, 2011.
  • The Act is now being implemented in all 36 States/UTs and covers about 81.35 crore persons.
  • The annual allocation of food grain under National Food Security Act and Other Welfare Schemes is about 610 Lakh Metric Tons.
  • The Act also has a special focus on the nutritional support to women and children.
  • Besides meal to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after the child birth, such women will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
  • It is however restricted to two children only.
  • Children up to 14 years of age will be entitled to nutritious meals as per the prescribed nutritional standards.
  • The eldest women of the household of age 18 years or above will be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing ration cards.
  • In case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals, the beneficiaries will receive food security allowance.
  • The Act also contains provisions for setting up of grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels.
  • Separate provisions have also been made in the Act for ensuring transparency and accountability.
National Electric Mobility Mission Plan

Why in news?

E-vehicles industry to create 10 million jobs in future.

 

About the plan

  • The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 is a National Mission document providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing in the country.
  • It was initiated in the year 2013 with an objective to put 6-7 million electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2020 and committing to achieve 30% e-mobility in the country by 2030.
  • It has been designed to enhance national fuel security, to provide affordable and environmentally friendly transportation and to enable the Indian automotive industry to achieve global manufacturing leadership.
  • As part of the NEMMP 2020, Department of Heavy Industry formulated a Scheme viz. Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme in the year 2015.
  • It is to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and to ensure sustainable growth of the same.

Phase-I

  • The Phase-I of the FAME India Scheme was initially launched for a period of 2 years, commencing from 1st April 2015, which was subsequently extended from time to time and the last extension was allowed up to 31st March 2019.
  • The 1st Phase of FAME India Scheme was implemented through four focus areas namely
  1. Demand Creation
  2. Technology Platform
  3. Pilot Project
  4. Charging Infrastructure
  • In this phase, market creation through demand incentives was aimed at incentivizing all vehicle segments i.e. 2-Wheelers, 3-Wheelers Auto, Passenger 4-Wheeler vehicles, Light Commercial Vehicles and Buses.
  • The demand incentive was available to buyers of electric/ hybrid vehicles (xEV) in the form of an upfront reduced purchase price to enable wider adoption.
  • Further, specific projects under Pilot Projects, R&D / Technology Development and Public Charging Infrastructure components were sanctioned by the Project Implementation & Sanctioning Committee (PISC) for extending grant under the different focus areas of the Scheme.

Phase-II

  • The Phase-II of FAME India Scheme was notified on 8th March 2019.
  • It is for a period of three years commencing from 1st April 2019 with a total budgetary support of Rs. 10,000 crore.
  • This phase will mainly focus on supporting electrification of public & shared transportation, and aims to support through subsidies 7000 e-Buses, 5 lakh e-3 Wheelers, 55000 e-4 Wheeler Passenger Cars and 10 lakh e-2 Wheelers.
  • The scheme will be applicable mainly to vehicles used for public transport or those registered for commercial purposes in e-3W, e-4W and e-bus segments.
  • However, privately owned registerede-2W will also be covered under the scheme as a mass segment.
 
  • Creation of charging infrastructure will be supported in selected cities and along major highways to address range anxiety among users of electric vehicles.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan

Why in news?

Government started Jal Shakti Abhiyan for 255 water-stressed districts from July 1.

About Jal Shakti Abhiyan

  • It is an initiative to ramp up rainwater harvesting and conservation efforts in 255 water-stressed districts, in line with the government’s promise to focus on water.
  • It is a campaign for water conservation and water security in 1592 stressed blocks in 256 districts.
  • Eventhough water is a State issue, the campaign would be coordinated by 255 central IAS officers of Joint or Additional Secretary-rank.
  • The campaign seems to follow the model of last year’s Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, where central officials monitored the implementation of seven flagship development schemes in 117 aspirational districts across the country.
  • The campaign would be run in two phases
  1. July 1 to September 15 in States receiving rainfall during the south-west monsoon.
  2. October 1 to November 30 in States receiving rainfall in the retreating or north-east monsoon.

Objectives

  • Campaign is centered on 5 aspects
  • Water conservation and rainwater harvesting
  • Renovation of traditional and other water bodies/tanks
  • Reuse of water and recharging of structures such as bore well
  • Watershed development
  • Intensive afforestation
  • These are already being carried out under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme of the Rural Development Ministry, along with existing water body restoration and afforestation schemes being undertaken by the Jal Shakti and Environment Ministries.
  • Block and district-level water conservation plans would be drafted, and Kisan Vigyan Kendras would hold melas to promote better crop choices and more efficient water use for irrigation.

Polity and Governance

Lokpal

Why in news?

Established almost three months ago to inquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries, the office of Lokpal is not yet fully functional because the anti-corruption ombudsman is still waiting for the Centre’s approval on notifying the “format” for receiving a complaint.

About the news

  • Former Supreme Court judge and current member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Pinaki Chandra Ghose, is appointed as India’s first anti-corruption ombudsman, or Lokpal.

What is Lokpal?

 
  • The ‘Lokpal’ is the central governing bodythat has jurisdiction over all members of parliament and central government employeesin case of corruption.
  • A national anti-corruption ombudsman to look into complaints against public servants as defined under the Lokpal Act, 2013.
  • The main functionsare
    • To address complaints of corruption
    • To make inquiries and investigations
    • To conduct trialsfor the case on respective state and central government

Constitution of Lokpal

  • The Lokpal to consist of a Chairperson and a maximum of eight Members, of which fifty percent shall be judicial Members.
  • Fifty per cent of members of Lokpal shall be from amongst SC, ST, OBCs, Minorities and Women.
  • The chairperson can be current or former judges of the SC or chief justices of HCs.
  • Members should have least 25 years of experience in matters related to anti-corruption policy, vigilance, public administration, finance, law and management.

Who selects Lokpal?

  • A five-member selection panel comprising the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, the Leader of Opposition, Chief Justice of India, and an eminent jurist nominated by the President.

Powers of Lokpal

  • The Lokpal can initiate a preliminary investigation after it receives a complaint under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • If the complaint is found to be true, the Lokpal can ask the government to take disciplinary action against the public servant and also file a case in a special court to be set up by the Centre.

Jurisdiction

  • It will cover all categories of public servants including Group ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ & ‘D’ officers and employeesof Government.
    • With respect to Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ officers, CVC will send its report of Preliminary enquiry to Lokpalfor further decision.
    • With respect to Group ‘C’ and ‘D’ employees, CVC will proceed further in exercise of its own powers under the CVC Act subject to reporting and review by Lokpal.
  • All entitiesreceiving donations from foreign source in excess of Rs. 10 lakhs per year are brought under the jurisdiction of Lokpal.
  • Lokpal will have power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal.
  • It can attach or confiscate propertyof public servants acquired by corrupt means, even while prosecution is pending.

Map Aided Programme     

Ramsar Sites of Rajasthan
  • Sambhar Lake
  • Keoladeo National Park

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (PQRS)

  1. Consider the following statements:
  • The winds which blow between 300N and 600S latitudes throughout the year are known as westerlies.
  • The moist air masses that cause winter rains in North-Western region of India are part of westerlies.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • 1 only (b) 2 only                     (c) Both 1 and 2                      (d) Neither 1 nor 2