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The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and the Ministry of Agriculture have been renamed he Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and the Ministry of Agriculture have been renamed as the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC& FW) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare respectively. With a view to focus on the issues of farmers welfare, the DAC& FW has created a separate Division called ‘Farmers Welfare’ under the charge of a senior officer. Some of the important new initiatives in this context are: 1.Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme: Soil Health Card Scheme is a scheme launched by the Government of India in February 2015. Under the scheme the government plans to issue Soil card to farmers which will carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilisers required for the individual farms to help farmers to improve productivity through judicious use of inputs. All soil samples are be tested in various soil testing labs across the country. Thereafter the experts will analyse the strength and weaknesses (micro-nutrients deficiency) of the soil and suggest measures to deal with it. The result and suggestion will be displayed in the cards. The Government plans to issue the cards to 14 crore farmers. 2 .Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (Traditional Farming Improvement Programme) has been launched by Government of India to support and promote organic farming and thereby improving soil health. This will encourage farmers to adopt eco-friendly concept of cultivation and reduce their dependence on fertilizers and agricultural chemicals to improve yields. 3. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY): The NDA government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana, which heavily borrows from the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme; but tries to replace the fragmented approach with an integrated approach aiming at convergence of investments in irrigation. 4. New National Crop Insurance Scheme: Agricultural Insurance in India is covered by “National Crop Insurance Programme” which was launched by UPA government in 2013 by merging three schemes viz. Modified National Agricultural insurance Scheme (MNAIS), Weather Based Crop insurance Scheme (WBCIS) and Coconut Palm Insurance Scheme (CPIS). These three schemes now serve as components of the NCIP. National Crop Insurance Programme provides financial support to farmers for losses in their crop yield, to help in maintaining flow of agricultural credit, to encourage farmers to adopt progressive farming practices and higher technology in Agriculture and thereby, to help in maintaining production, employment & economic growth. 5. National Food Security Mission (NFSM); NFSM) is a Central Scheme of GOI launched in 2007 for 5 years to increase production and productivity of wheat, rice and pulses on a sustainable basis so as to ensure food security of the country. The aim is to bridge the yield gap in respect of these crops through dissemination of improved technologies and farm management practices. 6.Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH); A Centrally Sponsored Scheme of MIDH has been launched for the holistic development of horticulture in the country during XII plan. The scheme, which has taken take off from 2014-15, integrates the ongoing schemes of National Horticulture Mission, Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States, National Bamboo Mission, National Horticulture Board, Coconut Development Board and Central Institute for Horticulture, Nagaland. 7.National Mission on Oilseeds & Oil Palm (NMOOP); The mission would help in boosting the production of oilseeds by 6.58 million tonnes and will bring additional area of 1.25 lakh hectares under oil palm cultivation. In addition to this, it would also lead to an enhancement in productivity of fresh fruit bunches to 15, 000 kg/ha from 4927 kg/ha and increase in collection of tree borne oilseeds to 14 lakh tonne. It would increase production of vegetable oil sources by 2.48 million tonnes from oilseeds (1.70 MT), oil palm (0.60 MT) and tree borne oilseeds (0.18 MT) by the end of the 12th Plan period. NMOOP is inspired by the accomplishments of the existing schemes of Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Oil Palm and Maize, Tree Borne Oilseeds Scheme and Oil Palm Area Expansion programme implemented during the 11th Plan period. 8. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA); Under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, India has launched a dedicated National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) to define its strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation within the agriculture sector. Emission by Agriculture Sector: Agriculture is responsible for around 14% of global emissions. If the emissions from the agriculture are combined with the emissions caused by deforestation for farming, fertilizer manufacturing and agricultural energy use, this sector becomes the largest contributor to global emissions. In India, the agriculture sector accounts for 17.6% of total emissions. At the same time, it consumes some one fourth of the electricity, so, it is indirectly responsible for another 10% of the GHG emissions. When we combine these figures with the fertilizer industries, catering solely to agriculture, and use of diesel, we find that agriculture is the largest contributor of GHG in India. So there is a need that the farm sector is given priority in India’s climate mitigation strategy. 9. National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology (NMAET); National Mission on Agricultural Extension and Technology (NIMAET) is a new 12th Plan programme approved by outgoing UPA Government in February 2014 with an objective to spread farm extension services and mechanization. This mission has four sub-missions as under: Sub Mission on Agricultural Extension (SMAE) Sub-Mission on Seed and Planting Material (SMSP) Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) Sub Mission on Plant Protection and Plant Quarantine (SMPP) The common thread that runs across all four sub-missions is extension and technology; the four sub-missions are proposed for administrative convenience. The entire plan period outlay for this scheme is Rs. 13073.08 crore, with Government of India’s share of Rs. 11390.68 crore and State share of Rs.1682.40 crore. This scheme aims to bring maximum possible farmers within the ambit of cost effective and remunerative mechanized farming for improved productivity and sustainable farm growth in the country. It also covers seed production and plant protection along with strengthening regulatory framework for management of pesticides and plant quarantine. 10. Unified National Agriculture Markets; The National Agriculture Market (NAM) is envisaged as a pan-India electronic trading portal which seeks to network the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) and other market yards to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities. NAM is a “virtual” market but it has a physical market (mandi) at the back end. 11. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana is a special Additional Central Assistance Scheme which was launched in August 2007 to orient agricultural development strategies, to reaffirm its commitment to achieve 4 per cent annual growth in the agricultural sector during the 11th plan. The scheme was launched to incentivize the States to provide additional resources in their State Plans over and above their baseline expenditure to bridge critical gaps. The RKVY covers all sectors such as Crop Cultivation, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Dairy Development, Agricultural Research and Education, Forestry and Wildlife, Plantation and Agricultural Marketing, Food Storage and Warehousing, Soil and Water Conservation, Agricultural Financial Institutions, other Agricultural Programmes and Cooperation. Incentivize the States RKVY is a State Plan Scheme. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): As per data on sector-wise Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows maintained by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Government of India, during April 2000 to June 2015, FDI inflows in the agriculture services has been US $ 1763.57 Million (i.e. Rs.8747.4 crore) which is higher than the FDI inflows into sectors like textiles, mining and electronics. However, FDI inflows in the agriculture services during the above period has been lower as compared to computer software & hardware, telecommunications, automobiles etc. In agriculture machinery, FDI inflows during the above period has been US $ 418.65 million. To attract more FDI in agriculture sector, 100% FDI has been allowed in coffee, rubber, cardamom, palm oil tree and olive oil tree plantations, besides tea plantation in which FDI has already been allowed.
Best IAS And KAS Coaching Centre In Bangalore Government extends time-line for Atal Pension Yojana till March 31, 2016 Government extended by 3 months, the timeline for its co-contribution facility under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) in a move aimed at benefiting the unorganised sector. A guaranteed pension scheme, APY provides monthly pension ranging from 1, 000 to 5, 000 rupees to the subscribers. Scheme was announced to address the longevity risks among the workers in unorganised sector and to encourage the workers in unorganised sector to voluntarily save for their retirement. Under the scheme the government co-contributes 50 per cent of the subscriber’s contribution for a period of 5 years, if the subscriber has joined before 31st December 2015. The government has now extended its co-contribution plan for subscribers who join APY by 31st March 2016. This measure is likely to benefit substantial number of people who have not been able to join APY. The scheme will however continue for new subscriptions beyond March 2016, but without the benefit of 50% government co-contribution. As per finance ministry’s data the number of subscribers under APY have increased to 1.8 crore till January 16, 2016. Atal pension yojana: Atal Pension Yojana is a government-backed pension scheme in India targeted at the unorganised sector. Till the launch of this scheme only 11% of India’s population has any kind of pension scheme, this scheme aims to increase the number . In Atal Pension Yojana, for every contribution made to the pension fund, The Central Government would also co-contribute 50% of the total contribution or ₹1, 000 (US$15) per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber account, for a period of 5 years , from Financial Year 2015-16 to 2019-20, who join the NPS between the period 1st June, 2015 and 31st March, 2016 and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme and who are not income tax payers. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. The age of exit and start of pension would be 60 years. Therefore, minimum period of contribution by the subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more. Aadhaar would be the primary KYC document. The subscribers are required to opt for a monthly pension from Rs. 1000 – Rs. 5000 and ensure payment of stipulated monthly contribution regularly. The subscribers can opt to decrease or increase pension amount during the course of accumulation phase, as per the available monthly pension amounts. This scheme will be linked to the bank accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana scheme and the contributions will be deducted automatically. Recently Modified provisions under APY: Subscribers were provided with an option to make the contribution on a monthly, quarterly, half yearly basis instead of only monthly basis earlier. The account was not be deactivated and closed till the account balance with self-contributions minus the government co-contributions become zero due to deduction of account maintenance charges and fees. The penalty on delayed payment was also simplified to Rs 1 per month for contribution of Rs 100 for each delayed monthly payment instead of different slabs given earlier.
Best IAS And KAS Coaching Centre In Bangalore Somnath Temple to invest in Gold Monetisation Scheme Somnath Temple Trust is all set to become first temple from Gujarat to deposit its idle gold in the Gold Monetization Scheme. The trust has around 35 kilo grams of gold and will deposit the gold which is not in day-to-day use of the temple. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also a trustee of the Somnath Temple Trust. The management will segregate the pure gold from the whole lot to finalise the quantum of gold which can be deposited. Somanath temple: The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. Somnath Temple is known as “the Shrine Eternal”. This legendary temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times by Islamic kings and Hindu kings respectively. Most recently it was rebuilt in November 1947, when Vallabhbhai Patel visited the area for the integration of Junagadh and mooted a plan for restoration. The present temple is built in the Chalukya style of temple architecture or “Kailash Mahameru Prasad” style. The temple is situated at such a place that there is no land in a straight line between Somnath seashore until Antarctica. What is Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS)? 1.It replaces the existing Gold Deposit Scheme, 1999. 2.The deposits outstanding under the Gold Deposit Scheme will be allowed to run till maturity unless the depositors prematurely withdraw them. 3.Any Resident Indians can make deposits under the scheme. 4. The minimum deposit at any one time shall be raw gold equivalent to 30 grams of gold. 5.There is no maximum limit for deposit under the scheme. 6.The gold will be accepted at the Collection and Purity Testing Centres (CPTC) . 7.The deposit certificates will be issued by banks in equivalent of 995 fineness of gold. 8.The designated banks will accept gold deposits under The Short Term (1-3 years) Bank Deposit (STBD) Medium (5-7 years) and Long (12-15 years) Term Government Deposit Schemes (MLTGD). 9.The The Short Term Bank Deposit (STBD) will be accepted by banks on their own account 10.The Medium and Long Term Government Deposit Schemes will be accepted on behalf of the Government of India. 11.There will be provision for premature withdrawal subject to a minimum lock-in period and penalty to be determined by individual banks for the STBD. 12.The interest rate in the STBD will be determined by the banks. 13.The interest rate in the medium term bonds has been fixed at 2.25% and for the long term bonds is 2.5% for the bonds issued in 2015-16. 14.The designated banks may sell or lend the gold accepted under STBD to MMTC for minting India Gold Coins (IGC) and to jewellers, or sell it to other designated banks participating in GMS. 15.The gold deposited under MLTGD will be auctioned by MMTC or any other agency authorised by the Central Government and the sale proceeds credited to the Central Government’s account with the Reserve Bank of India. 16.Earnings are exempt from capital gains tax, wealth tax and income tax. There will be no capital gains tax on the appreciation in the value of gold deposited, or on the interest you make from it. WHAT WILL THE BANKS DO WITH THE GOLD? The designated banks may sell or lend the gold accepted under the short-term bank deposit to MMTC for minting India Gold Coins and to jewellers, or sell it to other designated banks participating in the scheme.
Smriti Irani inaugurates GIAN scheme at IIT-Gandhinagar India may not yet have managed to get the Ivy League to set up campus in India through the much-awaited Foreign Universities Bill but is close to drawing in over 200 academics from global varsities to teach in India at $8, 000- $12, 000. The Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group. The eight institutions are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University. The term Ivy League has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism. The Smriti Irani-led Union Human Resource Development ministry is learnt to have quietly come to an agreement with academics from across countries to teach more than 200 short term academic courses in Indian institutes starting this November through its new scheme — Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN). The first GIAN backed course by a foreign faculty is expected to start with NIT Surathkal this November. Prashant V Kamat, John A. Zahm Professor of Science at the University of Notre Dame in USA, it is learnt, is likely to take the first course to be launched under GIAN at the NIT, officials from the HRD ministry said on condition of anonymity. The Union Cabinet has approved a new program titled Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education aimed at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs, internationally to encourage their engagement with the institutes of Higher Education in India so as to augment the country’s existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reform, and elevate India’s scientific and technological capacity to global excellence. A number of academics from Germany, USA, Canada, France and Australia have shown considerable interest in GIAN and academics from across top global varsities including MIT, Oxford University, Cambridge, Stanford University, University of Berkeley, Imperial College of London are queuing up, sources from across institutes said. Spain, Brazil, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Russia, Norway, Singapore and Sweden are among other nations sending in academics to India. The Indian gov government had last year also engaged with Manjul Bhargava, R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, to help pitch the GIAN scheme as a brand ambassador. MHRD Scheme on International Summer/Winter Term (ISWT) under GIAN: Objective: To arrange Guest Lectures by international renowned experts. (1) Long and Short Term Goals: To increase the footfalls of reputed international faculty in the Indian academic institutes. Provide opportunity to our faculty and students to learn and share knowledge and teaching skills in cutting edge areas. To create avenue for possible collaborative research. To increase participation and presence of international students in the academic Institutes. Opportunity for the students of different Institutes/Universities to interact and learn subjects in niche areas through collaborative learning process. Provide opportunity for the technical persons from Indian Industries to improve understandings and update their knowledge in relevant areas. Motivate the best international experts in the world to work on problems related to India. BUDGET OUTLINE Sl No. Description of budgetary head per Course Amount* (Rs) 1. International and National Expert Air Fare – 2, 00, 000/- 2. Honorarium to International, National and Host faculty – 2, 00, 000/- 3. Travel and Stay Support to some Participants – 75, 000/- 4. Local hospitality to International and National expert – 50, 000/- 5. Lecture Notes/video-learning material preparation – 50, 000/- Incidentally, a few IITs and IIMs had raised concerns about paying this huge a remuneration to the visiting faculty citing insufficiency of funds available with them. Some of the IIMs that do not take any financial support from the Centre had also argued heir inability to do so. The Centre is even pitching in with additional funds where institutes may have cited difficulty in paying the decided remuneration for the visiting faculty. IIT Madras is learnt to be leading the tally so far with over 25 courses expected to be taught by visiting foreign faculty.
Best IAS And KAS Coaching Centre In Bangalore Government of India and World Bank sign a loan agreement for Neeranchal National Watershed Project The Government of India signed a loan agreement with World Bank here for the Neeranchal National Watershed Project. The Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), which commenced from the year 2009-10, is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme supporting watershed development in 28 states, following the Common Guidelines for Watershed Development Projects – 2008 (Revised 2011). The IWMP is delivered by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) through the Department of Land Resources (DOLR) at the national level, and through dedicated State Level Nodal Agencies (SLNA) set up for this purpose, in the States. The project to be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development over a six-year period (2016-21) will support the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana in hydrology and water management, agricultural production systems, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation. The total cost of the project is Rs. 2142.30 crore of which the Government’s share is Rs. 1071.15 crore (50 percent) and rest is the loan component from the World Bank. Why Neeranchal? For achieving the major objectives of the Watershed Component of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) For ensuring access to irrigation to every farm (Har Khet Ko Pani) and efficient use of water (Per Drop More Crop). Bring about institutional changes in watershed and rainfed agricultural management practices in India. Devise strategies for the sustainability of improved watershed management practices in programme areas, even after the withdrawal of project support. Support improved equity, livelihoods, and incomes through forward linkages, on a platform of inclusiveness and local participation. The programme will lead to reducing surface runoff of rainwater, increasing recharge of ground water and better availability of water in rainfed areas resulting in incremental rainfed agriculture productivity, enhanced milk yield and increased cropping intensity through better convergence related programmes in project area. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana: Central scheme that aims at providing irrigation facilities to every village in the country by converging ongoing irrigation schemes implemented by various ministries. Scheme envisages: Ensure access to some means of protective irrigation to all agricultural farms in the country in order to produce ‘per drop more crop’ to bring desired rural prosperity. Flexibility and autonomy: to states in the process of planning and executing irrigation projects in order to ensure water to every farm. Irrigation plans: ensure that state and district irrigation plans are prepared on the basis of sources of availability of water and agro-climatic conditions in that region. Promoting extension activities: related to ‘on farm water management and crop alignment’ for farmers as well as grass root level field functionaries. Agencies involved: nodal agency for implementation of PMKSY projects will be state agriculture department. Inter-ministerial National Steering Committee (NSC) will periodically review these projects. Budgetary allocation: 1, 000 crore rupees for fiscal year 2015-16. Funding Pattern: Centre- States will be 75: 25 per cent. In case of north-eastern region and hilly states it will be 90:10.