Cabinet approves restructured National Bamboo Mission

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today has approved Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Bamboo Mission (NBM) under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) during the remaining period of Fourteenth Finance Commission (2018-19 & 2019-20).

The aim of the Mission:

It aims to inter-alia supplement farm income of farmers with a focus on the development of complete value chain of bamboo sector linking growers with industry.

The scheme is being implemented in non-forest Government land, farmers field in States where it has social, commercial and economic advantage, including the bamboo rich States of North Eastern region and Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.

88 Bamboo Treatment Units, 464 Product Development/Processing Units, 135 Infrastructure Projects for Promotion and Development of Bamboo Markets, and an area of 15740 ha for plantation has been approved.

Financial Assistance:

Financial Assistance to the North Eastern States is provided in the ratio of 90:10 between Central & State Government.

A number of consultations have been held with State Governments and Industry to invigorate the bamboo sector in the region.

About National Bamboo Mission –

The Mission envisages promoting holistic growth of the bamboo sector by adopting an area-based, regionally differentiated strategy and to increase the area under bamboo cultivation and marketing.

Key Outputs:

  • Coverage of 1,05,000 ha area under bamboo in two years by ensuring adequate stocks of selected genetically superior quality planting material.
  • Promotion and diversification of bamboo products through the establishment of micro, small, medium & large processing units and development of value chain in bamboo.
  • Setting up and strengthening of bamboo mandi/bazaars/rural haats, including promoting online trade.
  • Enhanced cooperation within the country related to research, technology, product development, machinery, trade information, and knowledge sharing platform particularly for NE States to give a boost to the low key bamboo based industry in the country.

Mission Structure:

The NBM will be a sub-scheme of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) under the umbrella scheme Krishonnati Yojana.

Funding Pattern:

60:40 between Centre and State Govt. for all States (excepting NE & Hilly states),

90:10 for the NE & Hilly States, and

100% for Union Territories/R&D Institutes/Bamboo Technology Support Groups (BTSGs) and National Level Agencies.

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Is Centre’s ‘Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin’ Scheme A Ploy To Counter Odisha Govt’s ‘Khushi’?

The Centre inaugurated ‘Ujjwala Sanitary Napkins’ manufacturing units in Odisha which are being seen as an attempt to counter the ‘Khushi’ scheme launched by the State government.

About Khushi Scheme:

As part of its initiatives to empower women, the Odisha government, last year, launched this scheme to provide free sanitary napkins to school girls across the state.

The scheme will be implemented by the health and family welfare department of the state at a cost of 70 crores per year.

Under this scheme, the Health Department of Odisha Government aims to provide free sanitary pads to 1.7 million girl students from grade 6th to 12th in government and government-aided schools. Also, it aims to promote health and hygiene among school going girls and higher retention of girls in school.

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Devendra Fadnavis launches SMART project in 10,000 villages

The state government launched an ambitious project – State of Maharashtra Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) – in 10,000 villages with an objective to achieve sustainable farming within the next three years.

The project, which is being undertaken on a mammoth scale, will cover almost one-fourth of Maharashtra. The state has 40,913 villages. The focus is clearly on villages which are reeling under the worst agriculture crisis compounded by lack of infrastructure and assured value chains to channelize the farm produce.

State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project:

The objective of the project is to create and support value chains in post-harvest segments of agriculture, facilitate agribusiness investment, stimulate SMEs within the value chain.

It will also support resilient agriculture production systems, expand access to new and organized markets for producers and enhance private sector participation in the agribusiness.

It will cover almost one-fourth of Maharashtra. Its focus is on villages which are reeling under worst agriculture crisis compounded by lack of infrastructure and assured value chains to channelize farm produce.

Significance:

The project is a giant step towards the transformation of the rural economy and the empowerment of farmers and also sustainable agriculture through public-private partnership (PPP) model.

It seeks to ensure higher production of crops and create a robust market mechanism to enable farmers to reap higher remunerations for the yield. It unites agriculture-oriented corporates and farmers by providing them with a common platform.

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Shri Ramayana Express Flagged Off From Delhi

The Shri Ramayana Express, a special tourist train to run on the Ramayana circuit to cover major spots related to the Hindu epic was flagged off from Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi.

All you need to know about Ramayan Circuit:

Ramayana Circuit is one of the fifteen thematic circuits identified for development under Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism. Sitamarhi, Buxar, Darbhanga in Bihar are among the fifteen sites identified initially for development under this circuit in the country.

The destinations are chosen according to the places where Lord Ram is believed to have traveled across India.

The 15 destinations are — Ayodhya, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh, Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga in Bihar, Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, Nandigram in West Bengal, Mahendragiri in Odisha, Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, Hampi in Karnataka and Nashik and Nagpur in Maharashtra.

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Shri Jual Oram inaugurates “Aadi Mahotsav” organized by m/o Tribal Affairs from 16th to 30th November, 2018 in Delhi

Shri Jual Oram, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs inaugurated the “Aadi Mahotsav” a National Tribal Festival to celebrate, cherish and promote the spirit of tribal craft, culture, cuisine, and commerce at Delhi Haat, The Mahotsav has been organized by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED from 16-30 November 2018 at Dilli Haat, INA;

“A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Craft, Cuisine and Commerce”.

About Aadi Mahotsav:

The Mahotsav will comprise of display and sale of items of tribal art and craft, tribal medicine & healers, tribal cuisine and display of tribal folk performance, in which tribal artisans, chefs, folk dancers/musicians from 23 States of the country shall participate and provide a glimpse of their rich traditional culture.

The festival will feature exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewelry and much more through 100 stalls. Over 200 tribal artisans and artists from different States creating a Mini-India will be participating in the festival.

As the name of this event Aadi Mahotsav suggests, it is it’s ‘Adi’ factor that is important about them. The Adivasi way of life is guided by primal truths, eternal values, and a natural simplicity. The greatness of the tribes lies in this that they have managed to retain the primal skills and natural simplicity. Their creations issue from the depths of time. This quality gives their arts and crafts a timeless appeal. The crudest tribal handicraft instantly touches a primal instinct in all of us. This is particularly true in tribal music and dance.

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Two important North East Circuits under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Central Tourism Ministry inaugurated in Arunachal Pradesh

Two important projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India were inaugurated at PTSO Lake in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. These projects are “Development of North East Circuits: Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang Project & Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha Project ”. These projects were jointly inaugurated by the Union Minister of State (IC) Tourism, Shri K.J. Alphons;

Speaking at the event, Shri K J Alphons said that the efforts of Ministry have shown positive results and the Foreign Tourist Arrivals in the region have shown an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over 2016. The Domestic Tourist Visits reached to 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs registering impressive double-digit growth of 22.8% over 2016. The Tourism Minister added that the increased number of tourists, in turn, has created better employment opportunity for the local population in the region.

The project Development of Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in March 2015 for Rs. 49.77 Crores. Under this project, the Ministry has developed facilities like Accommodation, Cafeteria, wayside Amenities, last Mile Connectivity, Pathways, Toilets, Multipurpose Hall at Jang, Sorang Monastery, Lumpo, Zemithang, Bumla Pass, Gritsang TSO lake, PTSO Lake, Thingbu and Grenkha Hot Spring, Lumla, Sela Lake.

The project Development of Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in December 2015 for Rs. 97.14 Crores. The facilities developed under this project includes Helipad, Wayside amenities, trekking trails, Rafting Centre, Log Huts, craft bazaar, Eco Park, Tourist facilitation centers, parking, Multipurpose Hall, festival ground etc.

About Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

The Tourism Ministry had launched ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme with an objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist circuits will be developed on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.

Features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

  • The scheme is 100% centrally funded for the project components undertaken for public funding.
  • To leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.
  • Funding of individual project will vary from state to state and will be finalized on the basis of detailed project reports prepared by PMC (Programme Management Consultant).
  • A National Steering Committee (NSC) will be constituted with Minister in charge of M/O Tourism as Chairman, to steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme.
  • A Mission Directorate headed by the Member Secretary, NSC as a nodal officer will help in the identification of projects in consultation with the States/ UTs governments and other stakeholders.
  • PMC will be a national level consultant to be appointed by the Mission Directorate.
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Union Agriculture Minister launches NCDC’s new scheme to promote young entrepreneurs in cooperatives

To cater to the needs and aspirations of the youth, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has come up with a youth-friendly scheme ‘Yuva Sahakar-Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme” for attracting them to cooperative business ventures.

“NCDC has created a dedicated fund with liberal features enabling youth to avail the scheme,” Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh said at the launch of the scheme.

The scheme would encourage cooperatives to venture into new and innovative areas.

NCDC has created a dedicated fund with liberal features enabling youth to avail the scheme. The scheme will be linked to Rs 1000 crore ‘Cooperative Start-up and Innovation Fund (CSIF)’ created by the NCDC. It would have more incentives for cooperatives of North Eastern region, Aspirational Districts, and cooperatives with women or SC or ST or PWD members.

The funding for the project will be up to 80% of the project cost for these special categories as against 70% for others. The scheme envisages 2% less than the applicable rate of interest on term loan for the project cost up to Rs 3 crore including 2 years moratorium on payment of principal. All types of cooperatives in operation for at least one year are eligible.

National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) was established by an Act of Parliament in 1963 as a statutory Corporation under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. It has many regional centers to provide financial assistance to Cooperatives/Societies/Federations.

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Karnataka launches Samruddhi scheme for aspiring SC/ST rural entrepreneurs

Samruddhi, the rural entrepreneurship programme for Scheduled Castes (ST) and Scheduled Tribes (SC) was launched Priyank Kharge, Minister for Social Welfare, Government of Karnataka.

Through this rural employment and skill development programme, the government will partner with private organisations to provide training free of cost

About Samruddhi:

It is a rural entrepreneurship programme for Scheduled Castes (ST) and Scheduled Tribes (SC) in Karnataka.

Through this rural employment and skill development programme, the government will partner with private organisations to provide training free of cost.

The industry partners would invest up to 10 percent or more in retail management, taxation policies and GST, inventory management, soft skills, logistics, etc.”

The government has also set up a seed grant of up to Rs 10 lakh to help the beneficiaries set up their own franchises or retail outlets. It hopes to create 10,000 SC/ST rural entrepreneurs over the next three years.

As part of the Samruddhi scheme, the government will also provide a seed grant to deserving youth to start their own franchises or retail outlets after they receive the required training and certification.

The government is hoping to create around 10,000 entrepreneurs annually in the next three years from among the economically and socially marginalised communities in the State. These entrepreneurs will in their turn create jobs in rural and semi urban areas, and help push employment and skill development in the State further. The government hopes that this scheme will ultimately benefit aspiring, young citizens from rural and tier II cities and ensure sustainable and all-round development.

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Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi launched

Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi was launched in Delhi by the Union Minister for Earth Sciences and Environment, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

 About the Air Quality Early Warning System:

The System is designed to predict extreme air pollution events and give alerts to take necessary steps as per Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Government of India.

The air pollution system has been developed jointly by the scientists at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, India Meteorological Department and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).

The system will help in proactively forewarning, 3-4 days in advance, any large-scale air pollution events which may occur over the Delhi region.

The warning system consists of a) real-time observations of air quality over Delhi region and details about natural aerosols like dust (from dust storms) and particulate matter using different satellite data sets b) Predictions of air pollutants from two different air quality prediction systems based on state-of-the-art atmospheric chemistry transport models and c) Warning Messages and Alerts and Bulletins.

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More than 1.65 Crore households connected since the launch of Saubhagya

RK Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy announced an award scheme under Saubhagya here today to felicitate the DISCOMs / Power Department of the States and their employees for achieving 100 percent household electrification in their area of operations. Awards would be provided for achieving 100 percent household electrification at DISCOM/Power Department level of the States.

Awards would be provided for achieving 100% household electrification at DISCOM/Power Department level of the States. Eight States which have already achieved more than 99% household electrification prior to the launch of Saubhagya (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu), are ineligible for participation under the award scheme. All the remaining States and their Discoms are eligible for the award.

Award will be given in three categories, (i) DISCOMs / Power Departments of Special Category States (which includes seven North Eastern States, Sikkim, J&K and Uttarakhand); (ii) DISCOMs / Power Departments of other than Special Category States (which includes Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal)having more than 5 Lakh un-electrified households and (iii) DISCOMs / Power Departments of other than Special Category States having less than 5 Lakh un-electrified households.

About SAUBHAGYA Scheme:

Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – ‘Saubhagya’ was launched in September, 2017.

Under Saubhagya free electricity connections to all households (both APL and poor families) in rural areas and poor families in urban areas will be provided.

Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) has been designated as the nodal agency for the Saubhagya scheme.

The scheme aims to achieve universal household electrification in all parts of the country at a cost of Rs 16,320 crore, including Gross Budgetary Support of Rs 12,320 crore from the government.

All DISCOMs including Private Sector DISCOMs, State Power Departments and RE Cooperative Societies shall be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme in line with DDUGJY.

The prospective beneficiary households for free electricity connections under the scheme would be identified using SECC 2011 data. However, un-electrified households not covered under SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs. 500 which shall be recovered by DISCOMs in 10 installments through electricity bill.

The scope of the Scheme:

Providing last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all un-electrified households in rural areas.

Providing Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) based standalone system for un-electrified households located in remote and inaccessible villages/habitations, where grid extension is not feasible or cost effective.

Providing last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all remaining economically poor un-electrified households in urban areas. Non-poor urban households are excluded from this scheme.

There are around 4 Crore un-electrified households in the country and they are targeted for providing electricity connections by December 2018.

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