1. Assam government launches millet mission to double the income of state farmers
The Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on 16 November 2022 launched the “Assam Millet Mission” aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and doubling the farmer’s income. The mission also aims at encouraging the farmers to diversify their crops. .
Along with the Millet mission the Chief Minister also launched six soil testing and quality control laboratories Bongaigaon, morigaon,Golaghat, Udalgiri,Karimganj and Darrang.
Initially the millet mission will cover 25,000 hectares of land and later it will be extended to 50,000 hectares.
Millets or coarse cereals or nutri cereals
- Millet is one of the oldest known foods to humans. However its consumption in the world has declined due to the emphasis given to wheat and rice by the governments.
- It is also called coarse cereals or nutri cereals due to its high nutritive value.
- Nutri-cereals refers to a group of crops comprising sorghum (Jowar), pearl millet (Bajra), finger millet (Ragi/Mandua), and small millets like little millet (Kutki), kodo millet (Kodo), barnyard millet (Sawa/Jhangora), foxtail millet (Kangni/Kakun), and proso millet (Cheena).
- They are called a superfood as they are rich in nutrients such as copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. They are low on glycemic index.
Millets and India
- According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) , India is the largest producer of millet in the world followed by Niger and China .
- The total production of millets in India in 2020-21 was 17.96 million tonnes which was nearly 41% of the world production.
- Rajasthan was the largest millet producing state in India.
- Millets are grown in about 21 states in the country including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana.
- India was the 5th largest exporter of millet in the world in 2020 according to the Union ministry of Commerce data.
International Year of Millets 2023
- To highlight the importance of millets, India proposed in the United Nations to declare 2023 as the International Year of the Millets.
- The proposal was accepted and passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2021 and 2023 was declared as the International Year of Millets.
2. Central government releases Rs 13,000 crore from Contingency Fund for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana -Gramin
The Union Finance Ministry has authorized release of Rs 13,000 crore from the Contingency Fund of India to meet the additional financial demand for implementing the Government of India's flagship Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna-Gramin (PMAY-G) programme in 2022-23. This amount is in addition to the Rs 20,000 crore allocated for the programme in the Union Budget 2022-23.
Reason for such unusual step
The Government of India under the PMGY-G has set a target of building 52.78 lakh houses under the scheme in 2022-23.
In the first seven months (April-October 2022), the Union Rural Development Ministry has utilized Rs 16,785 crore which is about 84 per cent of the Rs 20,000 crore under the PMAY-G scheme.
With several states demanding extra funds for construction of rural houses, the Union Rural Development Ministry had approached the Ministry of Finance way back in June for additional allocation
Funding pattern of the PMAY-G and Central government share
Under the PMAY-G scheme, the government provides financial assistance of Rs 1.20 lakhs per beneficiary for construction of houses in rural areas in plain areas and in the North East and Hilly areas the assistance amount is Rs 1.30 lakhs per beneficiary.
The financial assistance shared between the Center and the States are as follows:
- In the plain areas the ratio of the Center and States is 60:40.
- In the hilly areas (8 Northeastern states, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand) the ratio of the Center and States is 90:10.
- In the Union Territories the centre’s share is 100%.
PMAY-G and financial obligation of the Central Government for the remaining period
- The Narendra Modi government when it came to power in 2014 changed the name of the Indira Awas Yojana to Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna-Gramin (PMAY-G) and it was re- launched on 20 November 2016.
- It set a target of providing “Housing to All” for rural areas to eligible beneficiaries by 2022 which was later extended to 2024. A total of 2.95 crore houses were to be constructed under the scheme.
- According to the government a total of 2.02 crore houses have been built till 15 August 2022.
- The government has set a target to build 52.78 lakh houses in 2022-23 and 57.34 lakh houses in 2023-24.
- According to the estimates of the Union Ministry of Rural Development which is implementing the scheme, a Central share of Rs 48,422 crore would be required to complete the target of 52.78 lakh houses in 2022-23.
- However only Rs 20,000 crore was allocated in the Budget 2022-23. Thus the Union Rural Development Ministry asked the Union Finance Ministry to release the additional fund otherwise it will not be able to release the Centre’s share of the fund to the state government and the scheme will not be able to achieve the target.
Why Release of Funds from Contingency Fund?
- In the Union Budget the government mentions how much money is allocated to a Union Ministry and for which purpose. If the ministry’s need for funds is more than those allocated in the budget then permission of the Parliament is needed.
- For this purpose a supplementary demand for grants is brought before the Parliament requesting for extra funds. The Parliament authorizes the extra expenditure by passing the supplementary grants.
- In this case the Parliament's next winter session is expected to start in December 2022. The Rural development ministry wanted the extra fund now so that the scheme can achieve its target in time. The Finance Ministry agreed and released the fund from the
- Contingency fund of India.
What is the Contingency Fund of India?
- Article 267 of the constitution provides for a Contingency Fund of India for the central government and for each state government. Parliament can set the fund for the Government of India and the concerned state legislature set up for its state government.
- The Contingency fund of India was set up under the Contingency Fund of India act 1950.
- Its corpus was increased from Rs 500 crore to Rs 30,000 crore in 2021-22. This fund is used to meet unforeseen expenditure like natural calamities etc.
- The Secretary, Ministry of Finance manages this fund on behalf of the President of India. There is no need for prior approval from the Parliament to spend the money from the Contingency Fund of India.
Union Minister for Finance: Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Minister for Rural Development: Giriraj Singh
3. Per capita income rose in real terms by 33.4% since enactment of NFSA: Center inform Supreme Court
The Central government on 11 November 2022, informed the Supreme Court that the per capita income of the population in India has increased in real terms by 33.4 per cent since the enactment of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in 2013.
In an affidavit filed before the top court, the Union government said this rise in per capita income of people has taken a large number of poor households to higher income class.
The affidavit was filed in response to a Supreme Court ordered comprehensive survey of migrant labourers who faced extreme hardship and loss of jobs during corona induced lockdown in 2020.
Main points of the government response
- The overall national ceiling under NFSA is 81.4 crore beneficiaries and a few states are yet to reach their state ceiling.
- Actual national coverage is nearly 79.8 crore as on August 31. Under NFSA ceiling, there is still scope for adding approximately 1.6 crore beneficiaries for Antyodaya Anna Yojana and priority households categories.
- About 4.7 crore ration cards, which is equivalent to about 18-19 crore individuals, have been added in the last 8 years (2013-2021) under NFSA.
National Food Security Act 2013(NFSA)
The Public distribution system in India is covered under the National Food Security Act 2013. It was implemented on 10 September 2013.
- It covers all the State and Union Territories in India.
- The scheme is administered by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution.
- The Act provides for coverage of up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), thus covering about two-thirds of the population.
- Food Grains are provided to beneficiaries in two categories, Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Household (PHH).
- The Antodaya Anna Yojana beneficiaries get 35 kg of foodgrains per month and the Priority Household gets 5kg per person per month.
- The beneficiary gets rice at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg and coarse cereals at Rs 1 per kg.
Per capita Income
It is used to determine the average income of a person of a country. It is calculated by dividing the National income of a country by its population.
The Per capita Income of India in 2021-22(on Net National Income basis) was Rs 91481.
Source National Statistical Office
4. “Aibawk cluster” in Mizoram becomes the first cluster to be completed under the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission
According to the Government of India, Aibawk cluster in the Aizawl district of Mizoram has become the first cluster to be completed under the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM).
SPMRM was launched by the Government of India with a vision to provide amenities to rural areas which are perceived to be urban and have the potential to stimulate local economic development.
300 clusters has been selected under the mission for well-planned and holistic development.
Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM)
The Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kurubhat, in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh on February 21, 2016. The mission is of five years duration.
The mission follows a cluster based approach for rural development instead of focusing on a single village unit.
Aim of the Scheme
The Aim of the Mission are:
- Bridging the rural-urban divide in the economic, technological and those related to facilities and services.
- Stimulating local economic development with emphasis on reduction of poverty and unemployment in rural areas.
- Spreading development in the region.
- Attracting investment in rural areas.
What is a Rurban Cluster?
A ‘Rurban cluster’ is a cluster of geographically contiguous villages with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and with a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas.
Under the Mission, presently, out of 300 selected clusters spread across the country, 109 are tribal clusters and 191 non-tribal clusters.
Nodal ministry for the SPMRM scheme
The Union Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal ministry for the implementation of the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission.
Who identify the Rurban Clusters?
The Union Rural Development Ministry proposes a suggestive list of sub districts to the State. The State Governments then select the clusters following a set of indicated principles included in the Framework for Implementation of the scheme.
Funding pattern of the scheme
Various rural development schemes of the Central and the State government are converged in the clusters. The funding meant for those schemes are spent into the cluster.
The SPMRM also provides an additional funding support of upto 30 percent of the project cost per cluster as Critical Gap Funding (CGF) as Central Share to enable development of such Rurban clusters.
Union Minister for Rural Development: Giriraj Singh
5. Uttarakhand Chief Minister launches Lakhpati Didi Yojana
The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami launched the ‘Lakhpati Didi’ Yojana in Dehradun on 4 November 2022. The scheme is part of the government to empower the women of the state.
Lakhpati Didi Yojana
The Lakhpati Didi Yojana is being launched by the Rural Development department of the Uttarakhand government under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).
The government is aiming to enable at least 1.25 lakh women’s associated with various self-help groups (SHG) in the state to earn over one lakh rupees per year (Lakhpati) by 2025.
Under the 'Lakhpati Didi' scheme for women belonging to Self Help Groups (SHGs), will be encouraged to take up micro-enterprises with skill development.
The government will tie up e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Government e-Marketplace (GeM) so that the SHG products get national and International markets.
Uttarakhand which was formed on 9 November 2000 after the bifurcation of Uttar Pradesh will turn 25 in 2025. To commemorate the occasion the state government has set the target to make 1.25 lakh women Lakhpati by 2025.
Uttarakhand was formed on 9th November 2000 as the 27th State of India. It was formed by carving out the hilly areas of Uttar Pradesh.
It shares international boundaries with China (Tibet) in the north and Nepal in the east. On its north-west lies Himachal Pradesh, while on the south is Uttar Pradesh.
The state is also famous as God’s Land or Dev Bhoomi.
It has a total of 13 districts.
Official state symbols
- State animal – Musk Deer
- State flower – Brahma Kamal
- State tree – Buransh (Rhododendron)
- State Bird – Monal
- State musical Instrument – Dhol
6. In-Situ Slum Rehabilitation’ Project
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 3,024 newly constructed EWS flats at Kalkaji in Delhi under the ‘In-Situ Slum Rehabilitation’ Project on November 2.
He will also hand over the keys of the flats to the eligible beneficiaries at the Bhoomiheen camp at Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi.
In line with the Prime Minister's vision of providing housing for all, Delhi Development Authority is undertaking in-situ slum rehabilitation work in 376 slum clusters.
The DDA has taken up three such projects in Kalkaji Extension, Jailorwala Bagh and Kathputli Colony.
About In-Situ Slum Rehabilitation’ Project
The objective of the project is to provide a better and livable healthy environment with proper facilities to the people residing in slum clusters.
Under Phase I, 3024 EWS flats have been constructed at the vacant commercial centre site nearby.
The first phase of the project has been completed and 3024 flats are ready.
Under the Kalkaji Extension Project, in-situ slum rehabilitation of three slums—Bhumiheen Camp, Navjeevan Camp and Jawahar Camp at Kalkaji—is being carried out in a phased manner.
The slum site in the Bhumiheen camp will be vacated by rehabilitating the eligible families of this camp in newly constructed flats.
These flats have been constructed at a cost of about Rs 345 crore and are equipped with all civic amenities.
7. Arunachal Pradesh to get Northeast’s first fish museum
A fish museum, the first of its kind in the Northeast, would soon be built in Arunachal Pradesh, Fisheries Minister Tage Taki said.
The museum will be a part of the Integrated Aqua Park (IAP) sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Fisheries.
It will have all the fish species of the state and will act as a training center for the fishermen.
Three years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced one IAP for each state and union territory under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMSY) to bring about a blue revolution.
The proposed cost of the project is Rs 100 crore.
Rs 43.59 crore was sanctioned for the project in the current financial year as first instalment.
The existing Tarin Fish Farm (TFF) located in the high altitude Bulla village will be upgraded as an IAP where this museum will be built.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMSSY)
It is a sustainable development scheme focused on the fisheries sector, to be implemented in all States/UTs from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 (during a period of 5 years) under Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Under this scheme, an investment of Rs 20,050 crore will be made in the fisheries sector.
Insurance cover, financial assistance and Kisan Credit Card facility are also provided to the fishermen under the scheme.
Its objective is to rapidly promote rural development and rural economy by utilising rural resources.
An impressive growth of 14.3 percent has been registered in the fisheries sector till the year 2021-22 as compared to the year 2019-20.
8. PM Modi hands over houses built under PM Awas Yojana (Gramin) in Madhya Pradesh to over 4.51 lakh families virtually
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 October 2022 handed over houses to 4 lakh 51 thousand families of Madhya Pradesh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Gramin virtually.
Virtually addressing the state-level program organized in Satna, the Prime Minister said that home brings progress for all as the village also progresses due to construction of houses along with the owner of the house. The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan was also present in the programme..
Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, about 38 Lakh houses have been sanctioned so far in Madhya Pradesh and construction of about 29 Lakh houses has been completed at a cost of more than Rs. 35,000 crores.
Housing for All
Government of India has launched Housing for All scheme to provide pucca houses to the eligible person by 2022.
The Housing for All target goal is to be achieved by two central government scheme ; Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana -Gramin (PMAY-U) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban(PMAY-U)
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana -Gramin (PMAY-U)
It was earlier known as Indira Awas Yojana . It was revamped and relaunched as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana -Gramin (PMAY-U) on 20th November, 2016 with effect from 1st April 2016.
The program envisages the completion of 2.95 crore PMAY-G houses with all basic amenities for the identified beneficiaries by the year 2022.
It is being implemented by the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban(PMAY-U)
It was launched on 25 June 2015 by the Government of India and it is being implemented by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
The scheme aims to provide pucca houses to all the eligible beneficiaries by 2022.
Around 1.12 crore houses are to be constructed under the scheme .
9. Prime Minister Modi launches Mission LiFE globally in Kevadia, Gujarat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) in the presence of the United Nations of the Secretary-General, António Guterres at the Statue of Unity, Ekta Nagar, Kevadia on 20 October 2022.
Several world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, United Kingdom's Prime Minister Liz Truss, Georgia Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Estonia Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, and Madagascar President Rajoelina sent video messages for the global launch.
Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister said that the vision of LiFE is to live a lifestyle that is in tune with our planet and does not harm it. And those who live such a lifestyle are called “Pro-Planet People.” Mission LiFE will strengthen the concept of P3 (Pro-Planet People) and join the people of Earth.
LiFE (‘Lifestyle for the Environment)
- The idea of LiFE (‘Lifestyle for the Environment) was given by Prime Minister Modi at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow 2021.
- The idea promotes an environmentally conscious lifestyle that focuses on 'mindful and deliberate utilisation' instead of 'mindless and destructive consumption'.
Strategy of LiFE
According to the Prime Minister Office (PMO) the "Mission LiFE aims at following a three-pronged strategy for changing our collective approach towards sustainability.
First is by nudging individuals to practise simple yet effective environment-friendly actions in their daily lives (demand);
Second is by enabling industries and markets to respond swiftly to the changing demand (supply) and;
Third is to influence government and industrial policy to support both sustainable consumption and production (policy).
10. PM launches Gujarat government’s Mission Schools of Excellence at Trimandir, Adalaj, Gujarat
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi launched Mission Schools of Excellence at Trimandir, Adalaj, Gujarat on 19 October 2022.The Mission will help strengthen education infrastructure in Gujarat by setting up new classrooms, smart classrooms, computer labs and overall upgradation of the infrastructure of schools in the State. During the event at Trimandir, the Prime Minister also launched projects worth around Rs 4260 crores.
Mission Schools of Excellence
It is a five year Gujarat government project that aims to improve the quality of education in the state. It is a World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) funded project.
Budget of the project
The total budget for the mission is Rs 10,000 crore. World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will provide a loan of Rs 7,500 crore for the Gujarat government's Mission School of Excellence project.
Aim of the Project
- It will cover all 35,133 government and 5,847 grant-in-aid schools in the state.
- The funds will be spent on building 50,000 new classrooms, creating 1.5 lakh smart classrooms, 20,000 new computer labs and 5,000 Atal tinkering labs in 41,000-odd government and grant-in-aid schools across the state.
- It is estimated that nearly one crore school students will benefit directly from this ambitious project in the next five years.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
- It is a multilateral development bank which was set up in 2016.
- Its area of operation is in Asia and it provides loans to build Infrastructure of tomorrow -green infrastructure with sustainability, innovation and connectivity at its core.
- However its members are from around the world. At present it has 104 member countries.
- China is the majority shareholder of the bank and India is the second largest shareholder of the bank
- The United States and Japan are not the members of the bank
- AIIB has given maximum loans to India
Current President of the Bank: Jin Liqun of China.
Headquarters: Beijing, China