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Daily Newsletter | TPS 20 Daily Current Affairs | 14th March 2020




Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

Why in news?

The information about the impact of the scheme was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in Rajya Sabha.

More about the scheme

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal BimaYojana (PMFBY) is the crop damage insurance scheme that has been introduced for implementation from Kharif 2016 season.
  • It has replaced the existing two crop insurance schemes National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified NAIS.
  • The scheme also aims to cover the risk of crop yield losses of insured farmers against all non-preventable natural risks from pre-sowing to post-harvest and to provide adequate claim amount and timely settlement of claims.
  • The Scheme shall be implemented on an Area Approach basis.
  • The scheme is voluntary for the States/Union Territories (UTs).
  • Scheme was compulsory for loanee farmers obtaining operational agricultural/Kisan Credit Card loans for crops/areas notified by the concerned State Governments and is optional for other farmers.
  • However, Government has recently revamped the PMFBY and made the scheme optional for all farmers
  • for its implementation from Kharif 2020.
  • Coverage under the scheme has been increased to 30% of Gross Cropped area in the country.


  • 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%.
  • The difference between premium rate and the rate of Insurance charges payable by farmers shall be treated as Rate of Normal Premium Subsidy, which shall be shared equally by the Centre and State.

Implementing Agency (IA):

  • The Scheme shall be implemented through a multi-agency framework by selected insurance companies under the overall guidance & control of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), and the concerned State in co-ordination with various other agencies like financial institutions.
Scheme for Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP)

Why in news?

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for introducing the Scheme for Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP).

More about the scheme

  • Under the scheme a mechanism would be created for reimbursement of taxes/ duties/ levies, at the central, state and local level, which are currently not being refunded under any other mechanism, but which are incurred in the process of manufacture and distribution of exported products.
  • An inter-ministerial Committee will determine the rates and items for which the reimbursement of taxes and duties would be provided.
  • In line with Digital India, refund under the Scheme, in the form of transferable duty credit/electronic scrip will be issued to the exporters, which will be maintained in an electronic ledger.
  • The Scheme will be implemented with end to end digitization.

Salient features:

  • At present, GST taxes and import/customs duties for inputs required to manufacture exported products are either exempted or refunded.
  • However, certain taxes/duties/levies are outside GST, and are not refunded for exports, such as, VAT on fuel used in transportation, Mandi tax, Duty on electricity used during manufacturing
  • These would be covered for reimbursement under the RoDTEP Scheme.
  • The rebate would be claimed as a percentage of the Freight On Board (FOB) value of exports.
  • A monitoring and audit mechanism, with an Information Technology based Risk Management System (RMS), would be put in to physically verify the records of the exporters.
  • As and when the rates under the RoDTEP Scheme are announced for a tariff line/ item, the Merchandise
  • Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) benefits on such tariff line/item will be discontinued.
Gaganyaan Mission

Why in news?

Four Indian trainee astronauts preparing for Gaganyaan — India’s first manned space mission — have completed their winter survival training programme.

Gaganyaan Mission:

  • Gaganyaan is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft that is intended to send 3 astronauts to space for a minimum of seven days by 2022, as part of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme (IHSP).
  • The programme will make India the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission. So far, only the USA, Russia and China have launched human spaceflight missions.
  • It consists of a service module and a crew module, collectively known as the Orbital Module.
  • ISRO’s GSLV Mk III, the three-stage heavy-lift launch vehicle, will be used to launch Gaganyaan.
  • The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400km.

Objectives of the Mission:

  • Enhancement of science and technology levels in the country
  • A national project involving several institutes, academia and industry
  • Improvement of industrial growth
  • Inspiring youth
  • Development of technology for social benefits
  • Improving international collaboration
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Why in news?

Prime Minister calls for SAARC nations to chalk out a strong strategy to fight Coronavirus.

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC):

  • It was established with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka on December 
  • SAARC comprises of eight Member States: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • The Secretariat of SAARC – Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • The organization was started to promote economic and cultural ties amongst its member states.
  • SAARC comprises of 21%of world population and 8% of world economy.
  • States with observer status in SAARC: Australia, China, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea and the United States.
Global Animal Protection Index 2020

Why in news?

India ranks better in Animal Protection Index 2020, but still needs improvements.

About the Index 2020:

  • Released by World Animal Protection, an international animal welfare charity.
  • India was ranked second in the index.
  • The Animal Protection Index (API) aims to showcase where countries are doing well, and where they fall short on animal welfare policy and legislation.
  • The Animal Protection Index ranks countries from A to G.
  • India has attained a C ranking in the index. 
  • India was ranked along with Spain, Mexico, France and New Zealand. 

Note- Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Austria are rated with the highest scores.