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Government Interventions

Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Yojana

Why in news?

It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme, under which the subscriber would receive a minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000 per month after attaining the age of 60 years, launched by the Government in the interim budget.

About Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Yojana

  • The Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan scheme is a pension scheme meant for old-age protection and social security of unorganised workers.
  • The central government estimate suggests that the scheme will offer financial support to around 10 crore individuals, in the unorganized sector.

Eligibility criteria

  • According to the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), to be eligible for the scheme these are conditions that have to be met:
  • Should be an unorganised worker
  • Entry age between 18 and 40 years
  • Monthly income Rs 15,000 or below
 

Should not be

  • Engaged in organised sector (membership of EPF/NPS/ESIC)
  • An income tax payer

He/ she should possess

  • Aadhar card
  • Savings bank account / Jan Dhan account number with IFSC

Features

  • It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme, under which the subscriber would receive a minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000 per month after attaining the age of 60 years and if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50 percent of the pension as family pension.
  • Family pension is applicable only to spouse.

Contribution

Individual

  • The interested candidates will have to deposit a certain amount in the pension account.
  • Joining at age of 18 years, monthly contributions of Rs. 55 till they attain the age of 60 years.
  • If 29 years of age or more, then Rs. 100 every month.

Government

  • Apart from the money deposited by the respective individual, the central Government will also give equal matching contribution in his pension account.
Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti

Why in news?

The share of education has increased only marginally in the budget which can have an effect on schemes like Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti.

About Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti

  • Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, New Delhi is an autonomous organization under the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • NVS runs Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs), which is a system of alternate schools for gifted students in India.
  • The National Policy on Education-1986 envisaged setting up of residential schools, to be called Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas that would bring out the best of rural talent.
  • JNVs are fully residential and co-educational schools affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi, with classes from VI to XII standard.
  • JNVs are specifically tasked with finding talented children in rural areas of India and providing them with an education equivalent to the best residential school system, without regard to their families' socio-economic condition.
  • The Budget for Education, Boarding and activities at JNVs are provided by Ministry of HRD, Government of India and it's free of cost for the students during the 7 years of stay.
PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana)

Why in news?

Finance minister allocated over Rs 80,000 crore for upgradation of 1.25 lakh km of rural roads under the phase-III of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

About PMGSY

  • PMGSY is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme to provide single all-weather road connectivity to all unconnected rural villages as part of a poverty reduction strategy.
  • It was launched on 25th December, 2000.
  • The PMGSY is under the authority of the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • 50% of the Cess on High Speed Diesel (HSD) is earmarked for this Programme.
  • Its recipient is eligible unconnected Habitations in the rural areas with a
 
  • population of 500 persons and above 250 persons in the hilly, tribal and desert areas.
  • The unit for this Programme is a habitation and not a Revenue village or a Panchayat.
  • A Habitation is a cluster of population, living in an area, the location of which does not change over time.
  • The PMGSY will permit the Upgradation (to prescribed standards) of the existing roads in those Districts where all the eligible Habitations of the designated population size have been provided all-weather road connectivity.
  • The government has set a target to construct 7,000-km roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMSY) during the current year, 2019-20.
  • Out of this target, 3,000-km roads will be built under the green technology and non-conventional materials (like waste plastic, geo-textiles, fly-ash, iron and copper slag etc) for constructing rural roads.

Science and Technology

Train 18

Why in news?

The production of India’s first semi high-speed train has come to a grinding halt at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai.

About the news

  • The design of the successfully running Train18 has been found to be violative of certain specifications prescribed by Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO).

About RDSO

  • The Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO) is an ISO 9001 research and development organisation under the Ministry of Railways of India.
  • It functions as a technical adviser and consultant to the Railway Board, the Zonal Railways, the Railway Production Units, RITES and IRCON International in respect of design and standardization of railway equipment and problems related to railway construction, operation and maintenance.
  • It was formed in 1957 after the integration of Central Standards Office (CSO) and the Railway Testing and Research Centre (RTRC) in 1957, under Ministry of Railways at Lucknow.

About Train 18

  • Train 18 is India's first engine-less semi-high speed train.
  • This 16 coach train set was designed and built by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai under the Indian government's Make in India initiative over a span of 18 months.
  • It is regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express.
  • It’s also the first locomotive-less train in the country.
  • It is India's first semi-high speed train equipped with world class passenger amenities.
  • The train is set to run between Delhi and Varanasi at a maximum speed of 160 kmph.
 
  • The service was named 'Vande Bharat Express' on 27 January 2019.

Features

  • The fully air-conditioned train, driven by a self-propulsion module, has the potential to become the country's fastest train provided the infrastructure was improved.
  • Train-18 has two driving trailer coaches with aerodynamic driver's cab (nose cone) on both the ends.
  • Every alternative coach is motorized, to ensure even distribution of power and faster acceleration/deceleration.
  • It has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps besides GPS-based passenger information system.
  • The footsteps in the coaches of the doorways are designed in such a way that it would slide outward when the train stopped at a station enabling passengers to alight safely.

About Train 20

  • Train 20 is a next generation aluminium-bodied sleeper class trains that will replace the Rajdhani Express trains on the network and is expected to be rolled out by 2020.

Economy

Sovereign Gold Bonds

Why in news?

The government has fixed the price at Rs 3,443 per gram for the new series of sovereign gold bonds (SGBs) opening today.

About SGB

  • SGBs are government securities denominated in grams of gold.
  • They are substitutes for holding physical gold.
  • The sovereign gold bond scheme was launched in November 2015 with an objective to reduce the demand for physical gold and shift a part of the domestic savings, used for purchase of gold, into financial savings.
  • Investors have to pay the issue price in cash and the bonds will be redeemed in cash on maturity.
  • The Bond is issued by Reserve Bank on behalf of Government of India.

Other Details

  • The Bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
  • Minimum investment in the bonds is one gram with a maximum limit of subscription of 500 gram per person per fiscal year (April-March).
  • The maximum limit of subscription is 4 kg for individual and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) and 20 kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March).
  • The tenor of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option in 5th, 6thyear and 7th year.
  • The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident entities including individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
  • Joint holding of the account is allowed and Minors can also invest in it where the application on behalf of the minor has to be made by his/her guardian.
  • Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices and recognised stock exchanges.
  • The interest on Gold Bonds shall be taxable.

Benefits of SGB

  • The quantity of gold for which the investor pays is protected, since he receives the ongoing market price at
 
  • the time of redemption/ premature redemption.
  • The SGB offers a superior alternative to holding gold in physical form.
  • The risks and costs of storage are eliminated.
  • Investors are assured of the market value of gold at the time of maturity and periodical interest.
  • SGB is free from issues like making charges and purity in the case of gold in jewellery form.
  • The bonds are held in the books of the RBI or in demat form eliminating risk of loss of scrip etc.

Map Aided Programme     

MAJOR  CROPS  IN  INDIA

Sugarcane

  • Sugarcane is grown at the southern tip of India, in the midwestern and northwestern sections of the country.
  • It is a tropical as well as a subtropical crop ,which grows well in hot and humid climate with a temperature of 21°C to 27°C
  • and an annual rainfall between 75cm. and 100cm.
  • Soil Type : Clayey Loamy Soil, and Red Loamy Soil
  • India is the second largest producer of sugarcane only after Brazil.
  • The major sugarcane-producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)

  1. Which one of the following is associated with the issue of control and phasing out of the use of ozone-depleting substances?
  • Bretton Woods Conference (b) Montreal Protocol
  • Kyoto Protocol (d) Nagoya Protocol