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Kurukshetra Summary Sept 2019

Current Affairs UPSC CSE

Kurukshetra Summary Sept 2019

Social Security Schemes For Social Development

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), is financial inclusion programme of Government of India which is applicable to 20 to 65 years age group, that aims to expand and make affordable access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance and pensions. Under this scheme, 15 million bank accounts were opened on inauguration day. By 27 June 2018, over 318 million bank accounts were opened and over Rs. 792 billion were deposited under the scheme.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana is a government-backed Life insurance scheme in India. As of May 2015, only 20 per cent of India’s population has any kind of insurance, this scheme aims to increase the number. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana is available to people between 18 and 50 years of age with bank accounts. It has an annual premium of Rs. 330 The GST is exempted on Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana. The amount will be automatically debited from the account. In case of death due to any cause, the payment to the nominee will be Rs. 2 lakhs.
  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) is a flagship scheme of Government of India to “fund the unfunded” by bringing such enterprises to the formal financial system and extending affordable credit to them. It enable a small borrower to borrow from all Public Sector Banks such as PSU Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks, Private Sector Banks, Foreign Banks, Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) and Non Banking Finance Companies (NBFC) for loans upto Rs. 10 lakh for non-farm income generating activities. The scheme was launched on 8th, 2015 by the Prime Minister.
  • Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) is a Pension Scheme announced by the Government of India exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years and above which is available from 4th May, 2017 to 31st March, 2020. Scheme provides an assured return of 8 per cent p.a. payable monthly (equivalent to 8.30 per cent p.a. effective) for 10 years. Pension is payable at the end of each period, during the policy term of 10 years, as per the frequency of monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/ yearly as chosen by the pensioner at the time of purchase. On survival of pensioner to the end of the policy term of 10 years, Purchase price along with final pension installment shall be payable.
  • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana is a government-backed accident insurance scheme in India. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana is available to people between 18 and 70 years of age with bank accounts. It has an annual premium of Rs. 13. The amount will be automatically debited from the account. The accident insurance scheme will have one year cover from June 1 to May 31 and would be offered through banks and administered through public sector general insurance companies. In case of accidental death or full disability, the payment to the nominee will be Rs. 2 lakh (US$2,900) and in case of partial Permanent disability Rs. 1 lakh (US$1,400). Full disability has been defined as loss of use in both eyes, hands or feet. Partial Permanent disability has been defined as loss of use in one eye, hand or foot.
  • Atal Pension Yojana (or APY, previously known as Swavalamban Yojana) is a government-backed persion scheme in India, primarily targeted at the unorganized sector. Only 20 per cent of India’s population had any kind of pension scheme and the APY scheme aims to increase the number. Under this scheme, all subscribing workers below the age of 40 are eligible for pension up to Rs. 5,000 per month on attainment of 60 years of age. The minimum eligible age for a person joining APY is 18 years and the maximum is 40 years. An enrolled person would start receiving pension on attaining the age of 60 years. Therefore, a minimum period of contribution by the subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more.
  • Stand-Up India scheme aims to facilitate bank loans between 10 lakh and 1 crore to at least one Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch for setting up a greenfield enterprise. This enterprise may be in manufacturing, services or the trading sector. In case of non-individual enterprises at least 51 per cent of the shareholding and controlling stake should be held by either an SC/ST or Woman entrepreneur. Size of the loan can be as big as the composite loan of 75 per cent of the project cost inclusive of term loan and working capital. And the loan can be repayable in 7 years with a maximum moratorium period of 18 months.
  • Swachhta Udyami Yojana: As an integral part of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ launched by the Prime Minister on 2nd October, 2014, the National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation (NSFDC) has launched a new Scheme ‘Swachhta Udyami Yojana’ for financing viable community toilet projects and sanitation related vehicles to collect garbage.
  • Green Business Scheme: The scheme has been started by NSFDC, with the aim of promoting green businesses to support sustainable livelihoods of Scheduled Castes and Safai Karamcharis. Financial assistance would be provided for those economic activities that could address the challenges of climate change, e.g., E-rickshaw, solar pumps and other instruments working on solar energy etc.
  • Sanitary Mart Scheme: Launched in 2014-15, under the scheme, loans are provided to up to Rs. 15 lakhs to Safai Karamcharis for construction of toilets/bio-degradable toilets.
  • Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for the Scheduled Castes: The objective of the Scheme is to promote entrepreneurship amongst the scheduled castes and to facilitate concessional finances to them. A budget of Rs. 200 crores has been allocated to IFCI Limited to facilitate the scheme.

Rural Health: Evolution & Way Forward

Table 1: Key health sector related developments and achievements in India (2002-17)

2002 National Health Policy (NHP-2002)
2002-03 Universal Health Insurance Scheme (UHIS)
2005 National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)
2008 Rashtriya Swathya Bima Yojana (RSBY);
2008 Jan Aushadi Yojana (relaunched as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadi Pariyojana (PMBJB) in 2016
2008-17 State specific social health insurance schemes for specific target populations
2010 Report of High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
2011 India reported last case of Wild Polio Virus
2012 Intensive discourses on operationalization of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in India started
2013 India is declared polio non-endemic country; National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), with this NRHM renamed as National Health Mission (NHM)
2014 South East Asia region of WHO is declared polio free; Mission Indradhanush to increase routine immunization coverage launched; National Mental Health Policy (NMHP) released; High Priority districts (HPDs) for interventions under NRHM in India started.
2015 India validated maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination; Country becomes Yaws free as well
2015-16 Task force on comprehensive primary health care (PHC) in India
2017 National Health Policy (NHP-2017); National Mental Healthcare Act; Report on state specific burden of disease in India

Table 2: Key health sector related development and proposals in India (2017-19)

  1. National level initiatives

2017 National Health Policy
Mental Healthcare Act (of 2017);
HIV/AIDS Act (2017);
National Nutrition Strategy
Sustainable Actions for Transforming Human capital (SATH) initiative for Health & Education sector by NITI Aayog
2018 Ayushman Bharat programme (ABP) with components of (a) Health & Wellness Centres (HWC) & (b) Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)
Mid-Level Healthcare Providers (MLHP) under HWCs;
Aspirational District programme (ADP) for prioritization of social sector interventions
POSHAN Abhiyan/National Nutrition Mission;
First state Health Index for India released
NITI Aayog Strategic plan for New India (2018-22)
Report of Task force on Tribal health in India
2019 National Medical Commission (NMC) Act;
Community Health providers (CHP) with prescription rights under NMC Act;
Second State Health Index of India released


  1. Key State specific initiatives

2017 Universal Health Coverage (UHC) pilot in Tamil Nadu;
Family Health Centres (FHC) in Kerala;
Karnataka Public Health Policy
2018 Uttar Pradesh State Health policy (Draft);
Launch of Basthi Dawakhana, Community Clinics in Telangana
2019 Kerala State Health policy
Discourse on the Right to health in Indian States i.e. Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh
Formulation of health systems reform/transition committee in Andhra Pradesh.


  1. Key features in recent policy & strategy documents with potential impact on rural health

National Health Policy 2017
·         Proposal that Govt. would be sole provider of Primary health care services
·         Provision and attention on special populations such as Tribal health
·         Increasing government spending on health to 2.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (from 1.15 per cent in 2014-15) by 2025.
·         Two-third or more government spending on health for primary health care
·         State governments to increase spending from 5 per cent to 8 per cent of state budget


NITI Aayog strategic plan for new India (2018-22)

Four key thematic areas for health sector

·         Universal health coverage,
·         Comprehensive primary health care,
·         Human resources for health; and
·         Public health care and management
Specific initiatives for nutrition, Gender, social determinants of health.

Empowering Farmers Through Initiatives In Agriculture

  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana, small and marginal farmers will get a minimum fixed pension of Rs. 3,000 per month on attaining the age of 60 years. This is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme for small and marginal farmers across the country, with the entry age of 18-40 years. The Central Government will match the contribution from the subscribers.
  • The Government has announced the PM-KISAN scheme under which it is offering Rs. 6,000 to 14.5 crore farmers in a year. During the last five years, for providing affordable loans to farmers, the amount of interest subvention has been doubled and the crop loan to farmers increased to Rs. 11.68 lakh crore. A 2 per cent interest subvention was introduced for farmers engaged in fisheries and animal husbandry, with loans to be availed via Kisan Credit Card. Those who repay the loan timely will be eligible to get an additional 3 per cent interest subvention.
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana: Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana was started to address the challenges of the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits programme (AIBP) and look at water needs of agriculture in a holistic way. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana is in place to ensure ‘more crop per drop’ which will cover 28.5 lakh hectare area under irrigation. Rs. 50,000 crore is earmarked for ensuring that every farm gets water. Rs. 5,000 crore fund for micro-irrigation has been made available while there has been an encouragement for farmers to install solar pumps for irrigation.

Increasing Production:

  • Soil Health Card: To ensure that the farmer reaps good yields, focus on strengthening sowing-related activities is imperative. The Government has taken various steps in this regard. Considering that the health of the soil plays a fundamental role in agriculture, the Government has dispatched more than 13 crore Soil Health Cards from 2015 to 2018. Soil Health Cards carry crop-specific recommendations for nutrients and fertilizers to help farmers improve their productivity.
  • Neem Coated Urea: Neem Coated Urea (NCU) is a fertilizer and an agriculture scheme initiated by the Government of India to boost the growth of wheat and paddy, and curb the black marketeering and hoarding of urea. Urea which coated with neem tree seed oil is called neem-coated urea.

Credit for Farmers

  • National Agriculture Market scheme known as e-NAM has integrated 585 markets across 16 States and 2 Union territories. More than 164.53 lakh tonnes of farm commodities have been transacted on e-NAM and more than 87 lakh farmers have been registered. Thus, it is cutting down the middlemen in agriculture trading to facilitate farmer get his due.
  • 22,000 Rural Haats will turn into Gramin Agriculture Market which will benefit 86 per cent small farmers. Large investment in warehousing and cold chains to prevent post-harvest crop losses and value addition through food processing are also giving the farmers the essential edge on the market. To address the price volatility of perishable items like tomato, potato and onion ‘Operation Greens’ has been put in place.
  • Operation Green: The fluctuating prices for key crops such as tomato, potato and onion (TOP) has resulted in the Government announcing Rs. 500 crores for initiating Operation Green. It aims to stabilize the demand-supply situation for these crops and promote initiatives to control disparity. The situation requires fundamental changes beginning from crop variety selection (table variety v/s processing varieties), procurement mechanism, post-harvest handling and storage, processing of produce, market development, logistics services and distribution. However, it remains to be seen how it will impact an average farmer. Currently, the cold chain network needs to be more aggregated. Technology innovation for implementing low cost and durable multimodal solutions is one of the key challenges here.
  • Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF): A dedicated MIF has been created with NABARD for encouraging public and private investments in Micro irrigation. The main objective of the fund is to facilitate the States in mobilizing the resources for expanding coverage of Micro Irrigation. MIF would not only facilitate States in incentivizing and mobilizing resources for achieving the target envisaged under PMKSY-PDMC, but also in bringing additional coverage through special and innovative initiatives by State Governments. An Advisory Committee has been set up to provide policy direction and ensure effective planning, coordination and monitoring of the Micro Irrigation Fund.
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): It is implemented with a view to promote organic farming in the country. To improve soil health and organic matter content and increase net income of the farmer so as to realize premium prices. Under this scheme, an area of 5 lakh acre is targeted to be covered though 10,000 clusters of 50 acre each, from the year 2015-16 to 2017-18.

Financial Inclusion: Major Initiatives

  • The present government took the onus on itself of involving the common man in the economic activity through Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) launched on 28 August 2014, PMJDY is a national mission on financial inclusion started with an integrated approach to bring about comprehensive financial inclusion and provide banking services to all households in the country. The scheme ensures access to a range of financial services like availability of basic savings bank account, access to need-based credit, remittance facility, insurance and pension. It covers both urban and rural areas and those who open account get indigenous debit cards (RuPay card).
  • Account can be opened in any bank branch or Business Correspondent (or Bank Mitra) outlet at zero balance. Every bank account is on Core Banking System (CBS) of banks. Mobile banking, using USSD facility available on even basic feature phones is also being supported. A facility of call centre and toll-free number is available nationwide.
  • The main features of PMJDY include:
    • 5,000 overdraft facility for Aadhaar- linked accounts and a RuPay Debit Card with inbuilt Rs. 1 lakh accident insurance cover.
    • In addition, for accounts opened between 15th August 2014 and 26th January 2015, a Life Insurance cover of Rs. 30,000 is also available to the eligible beneficiaries.
    • One of the salient features of the scheme is that after remaining active for six months, the account holder becomes eligible for an overdraft upto Rs. 5,000.
    • Under the scheme, Financial Literacy programme, which aims to take basic financial education upto village level is also provided for better understanding of the whole mechanism.
    • The mission also envisages extension of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) under various government schemes through bank accounts of the recipients.
    • Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) have also been linked with the RuPay platform. Micro insurance and unorganized sector pension schemes like Swavalamban through the Business Correspondents have also been included for the second phase of the programme.
    • Any Indian citizen between the age of 18-40 years can join it through their SB account.
  • Old age, a simplified scheme of assured pension of 8 per cent called Pradhan Mantri Vayavandana Yojana (PMVVY) is being implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India. According to the scheme, on the payment of an initial lump sum amount ranging from a minimum purchase price of Rs. 1,50,000 for a minimum pension of Rs. 1000/- per month to a maximum purchase price of Rs. 7,50,000/- for maximum pension of Rs. 5,000/- per month, the subscribers will get an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8 per cent per annum payable monthly.
  • While introducing Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana in Budget 2015, all individual (single or joint) bank account holders in the age group of 18-70 years have been made eligible to join this scheme at a nominal premium of Rs. 12 per annum per member. This scheme is administered through Public Sector General Insurance Companies in collaboration with participating banks. It is an accident insurance scheme, which offers a one-year accidental death and disability cover that can be renewed annually.
  • Recognizing the challenges, the vulnerable sections of our society face in obtaining loan for setting up their enterprises, the Stand-U India Scheme has been launched by Government of India Scheme has been launched by Government of India on 5 April 2016 under which, bank loans between Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 1 crore are given to at least one Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch for setting up a greenfield enterprise in manufacturing, services or the trading sector. While roping in the LDMs into it, SIDBI and NABARD have been made the Connect Centres for its implementation.
  • As a part of ‘Beti Bachaao Beti Padhaao’ scheme of the present government, Sukanya Samridhi Yojana came into being in 2015, enabling parents to meet the major future expenses such as higher education and marriage of their girl-children plus offering tax benefits as well. In order to serve the intended purpose, the parents cannot withdraw the money and use it for personal needs, thus ensuring the financial independence of the girl child. Furthermore, it offers an attractive rate of interest, the highest among all small saving schemes.
  • MUDRA Scheme was introduced with the motive of bringing small business entities involved in trading, manufacturing and service sectors in the ambit of formal banking.

Key elements of true financial inclusion:

  • First, financial firms must understand the market and structure products accordingly.
  • Second is financial literacy.
  • Partnership between the government and providers of various financial products should improve.
  • Fourth is ensuring secured technology-driven environment.

To conclude, India has the world’s largest share of young people – half the country is below the age of 25. They are no longer satisfied with the status quo, and have soaring ambitions. Financial inclusion will necessarily have to be at the core of any economic strategy that the nation puts in place to meet these aspirations.

Making Electricity Sustainable And Available To All

Technical Interventions in Power Sector:

  • The Union Power Ministry has developed a crowd-sourcing mobile app for real-time consumer feedback on quality and availability with an aim to ensure uninterrupted supply. The app Jagruk has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). It has a automatic mode by which power supply data will be collected when mobile phone is being charged.
  • Vidyut PRAVAH – Electricity, Price Availability and Highlights. This mobile application provides highlights of the power availability in the country on real time basis. It provides information pertaining to the current demand met, shortages if any, surplus power available and the prices in the power exchange. The real time data and comparison with previous day/year data is also available. Data from multiple sources, including the states and power exchanges, has been made available through a single portal for everybody’s convenience.
  • Urja Mitra: Urja Mitra is another initiative of the Government, which provides outage management and notification platform for dissipating the outage information to power distribution consumers across India through SMS/ email/ push notifications. It also provides pan-India integrated mobile application for Android and IOS platforms to enable citizens to access outage information for distribution companies. Power consumers can also inform about power outage in their area through mobile app.
  • TARANG: TARANG (Transmission App for Real-time Monitoring and Growth) is a powerful monitoring tool that tracks upcoming transmission projects and monitor the progress of inter-state and intra-state transmission systems in the country that are being developed through regulated tariff mechanism as well as tariff-based competitive bidding route. TARANG shall also include status of stalled or delayed transmission systems in country which would enable the stakeholders such as Ministry of Power, State Governments, all private sector transmission developers and PSUs like Power Grid Corporation of India for expeditious completion of such projects.
  • Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY): In order to connect each village to the electricity grid, the Government has launched a scheme –Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), particularly aimed at rural electrification. The erstwhile Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) scheme for village electrification and providing electricity distribution infrastructure in the rural areas has been subsumed in the DDUGJY scheme. Rural Electrification Corporation is the nodal agency for implementation of DDUGJY.
  • Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya): In 2017, Government of India launched a scheme – Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) with the objective to provide electricity connections to all remaining un-electrified households in rural as well as urban areas. This scheme is targeted at all un-electrified households in all villages and all poor households in the towns in any of the state/UTs of the country. Under this scheme, there is no upfront fee or charges for obtaining electricity connection. Non-poor households will have to pay 10 instalments of Rs. 50 each along with the bill each month, total amounting to Rs. 500.
  • Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS): In order to make electricity accessible to every household in the country, it is critical to have strong infrastructure. In order to address the concerns about electricity network, the Government had launched Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS).
  • URJA (Urban Jyoti Abhiyaan): In order to rate the performance of DISCOMS, an app-based digital initiative URJA (Urban Jyoti Abhiyaan) is launched to place before the people, the performance of DISCOMS in IT-enabled towns, with a vision to generate a sense of positive competition amongst the stakeholders and urge all concerned for better performance in all consumer-centric parametres.
  • Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY): For the success of several schemes to provide electricity to all, the good financial health of electricity distribution utilities is necessary. In November 2015, the Government launched an ambitious scheme, Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY), to improve the financial health and operational efficiency of DISCOMs. Under this scheme, DISCOMs can convert their debt into state government bonds on certain stringent conditions.
  • Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA): Launched in 2015, the Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA), in short span of three years, has emerged as the the world’s largest domestic lighting programme. Developed to address India’s high cost of electrification and high emissions from inefficient lighting,

Clean And Renewable Energy Initiatives

  • The vision and mission of the International Solar Alliance is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource-rich countries that lie completely or partially between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, the global stakeholders, including bilateral and multilateral organisations, corporates, and industries to make a positive contribution to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
  • The Alliance has three main programmes:
    • promoting the use of solar water pumps instead of diesel pumps for irrigation;
    • affordable financing for solar technology;
    • and promoting solar mini-grids in the least-developed countries and small island nations.
  • The intergovernmental International Solar Alliance was launched by the Prime Minister of India and former French President Francois Hollande at the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris in 2015.
  • The National Solar Mission (NSM) : launched in 2010 with active collaboration from states to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy security challenges.

Solar Parks in India as on 31 May 2019:

Sr.No. State Solar Park Capacity


1 Andhra Pradesh Ananthapuramu-I Solar Park 1500
2 Kurnool Solar Park 1000
3 Kapada Solar Park 1000
4 Ananthapuramu-II Solar Park 500
5 Hybrid Solar Wind Park 160
6 Arunachal Pradesh Lohit Solar Park 30
7 Gujarat Radhnesada Solar Park 700
8 Harsad Solar Park 500
9 Dholera Solar Park 5000
10 Jharkhand Floating Solar Park 150
11 Karnataka Pavagada Solar Park 2000
12 Kerala Kasargod Solar Park 105
13 Madhya Pradesh Rewa Solar Park 750
14 Neemuch-Mandsaur Solar Park 700
15 Agar Solar Park 550
16 Shajapur Solar Park 500
17 Morena (Chambal) Solar Park 250
18 Maharashtra Sai Guru Solar Park (Pragat) 500
19 Patoda Solar Park (Paramount) 500
20 Dondaicha Solar Park 500
21 Latur Solar Park 60
22 Washim Solar Park 170
23 Yavatmal Solar Park 75
24 Kacharala Solar Park 145
25 Manipur Bukpi Solar Park 20
26 Meghalaya Solar Park in Meghalaya 20
27 Mizoram Vankal Solar Park 20
28 Nagaland Solar Park in Nagaland 23
29 Odisha Solar park in Odisha 275
30 Solar Park by NHPC 100
31 Rajasthan Bhadla-II Solar Park 680
32 Bhadla-III Solar Park 1000
33 Bhadla-IV Solar Park 500
34 Phalodi-Pokaran Solar Park 750
35 Fatehgarh Phase-1B Solar Park 421
36 Nokh Solar Park 980
37 Tamil Nadu Kadaladi Solar Park 500
38 Uttar Pradesh Solar Park in UP 440
39 UP Kanpur Dehat Solar Park 50
40 UP Jalaun Solar Park 50
41 UP Kanpur Nagar Solar Park 30
42 West Bengal Solar Park in West Bengal 200


  • KUSUM: Recently, the Government of India has launched Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan – KUSUM with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers. This scheme has three components which include 10,000 MW of decentralized ground-mounted, grid-connected renewable power plants; installation of 17.50 lakh standalone solar-powered agriculture pumps and solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected solar powered agriculture pumps. The scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.
  • Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India- SRISTI, to incentivize the installation of rooftop solar projects in India. SRISTI scheme aims to achieve a national solar rooftop target of 40 GW till 2021-2022. Central financial assistance will be provided only for installation of rooftop solar plants in residential sectors. The residential users may install the plant of capacity as per their requirement and the respective State Electricity Regulatory Commission regulation. But, the subsidy support will be limited up to 5 KWp capacity of plant.
  • National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy has been launched recently to provide a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV hybrid system for efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land. It also aims at reducing the variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability. On technology front, the Policy provides for integration of both the energy sources i.e. wind and solar at AC as well as DC level. The Policy also provides for flexibility in share of wind and solar components in hybrid project, subject to the condition that, rated power capacity of one resource be at least 25 per cent of the rated power capacity of other resource for it to be recognized hybrid project.
  • Green Energy Corridor is another initiative of Government of India for evacuation of large scale renewable energy for which Intra State Transmission System (ISTS) was proposed. ISTS is being implemented by eight renewable rich states of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The project is being implemented in these states by the respective State Transmission Utilities (STUs).

In this way, the Government of India is implementing variety of schemes so that maximum clean energy can be tapped in the country and uninterrupted power supply can be ensured inn remote areas. Today, in this direction, more and more research and technological developments need to be done in the research institutes to conserve the clean and renewable energy for the interests of the country and a safe future.

Women Empowerment: A New Paradigm

  • Health Empowerment

    • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY): This maternity benefit programme PMMVY was launched by the Government in 2016 and Ministry of Women and Child Development was entrusted to implement it. It provides cash transfer (conditional) for expecting and lactating women. It also ensures that the wage loss of women during the pregnancy gets compensated. The scheme fosters care and utilization of institutional services during child birth.
    • Maternity Care Act: The Maternity Benefit Act originally provided maternity benefit of 12 weeks, out which up to 6 weeks could be claimed before the expected date of delivery. In 2017, the law was amended extending this period to 26 weeks and revising the period of 6 weeks to 8.
    • Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA): The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare introduced PMSMA with an objective to ensure provision of antenatal care to pregnant women. It pledges ante natal care services to women in their 2nd or 3rd trimesters of pregnancy in an institutional set up. It also encourages participation of private sector in ensuring these services to expecting mothers.
    • National Nutrition Mission: To improve the nutritional status of pregnant women, lactating women, adolescent girls and children in the age group of 0-6 years, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Government of India initiated a programme named National Nutrition Mission. The aim of this mission was to address the serious issue of stunting, malnutrition, anaemia and low birth weight amongst newborns.
    • Mission Indradhanush: Mission Indradhanush was initiated in December 2014 with an aim to ensure full immunization for women and children. It also ensured that the required medicines for this purpose are available. This immunization programme was further intensified and in 2017 it led to the launch of Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI). It is an initiative of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • Social Security and Empowerment

    • Swachh Vidyalaya Initiative: Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya (SBSV) initiative was launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India in 2014 with the objective to provide access to toilet facilities separately to both boys and girls.
    • Swachh Bharat Mission: Under this programme, household-owned and community-owned toilets were constructed to eliminate open defecation. The Mission also seeks to establish a mechanism of monitoring toilet use. The mission is expected to help India reach Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), laid down by the UN in 2015.
    • Ujjwala Yojana: To meet the basic needs of women belonging to lower economic strata, especially from BPL families, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was introduced in 2016. The objective of this scheme was to distribute 50 million LPG connections to women belonging to this category. The scheme aims to provide clean fuel in the form of LPG to women who are below poverty line, hitherto using unclean cooking fuels with attendant harm. The objective is to protect the health of women and stem the health hazards resulting from the use of fossil and other fuels for cooking.
    • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) : This ambitious programme was introduced to provide housing facilities to all by 2022. Under the PMAY, the ownership of a house is mandated to be in the name of the woman of the family. Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA) has launched this programme.
    • Passport Rules: Women were earlier required to furnish the certificate of marriage or divorce while applying for a passport. It often made the application process complicated and cumbersome to the applicants. Under the new rules, women do not have to produce such a certificate for processing of passport application. It permits a woman to either use her father’s or mother’s name on the application form. The government is already committed to opening new Passport Sewa Kendras (PSK) in every Lok Sabha constituency.
    • Working Women Hostels: This scheme was introduced to ensure safety and convenience of working women. Purpose of this scheme was to provide accommodation, which was located at a convenient place and also has a day care arrangement for their children.
  • Financial Security and Empowerment for Women

    • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY): This scheme, with the help of small financial banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and micro finance institutions, provides loans up to Rs. 10,00,00 to small entrepreneurs. Major beneficiaries (78 per cent) of this scheme have been women entrepreneurs Around Rs. 1,78,313 crore worth of loans sanctioned, were given to self-employed women.
    • Stand-Up India: Stand-Up India was introduced to promote economic security and entrepreneurship. The aim of this programme is to extend helping hand in preparation of project plan to avail loans from the bank between 10 lakh to 1 crore. Under this scheme, banks are mandated to include at least one Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled tribe (ST) borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch, for establishing a greenfield business.
    • Sukanya Samridhi Yojana: The government introduced this new scheme as a part of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign. This is a small deposit scheme exclusively for the welfare of the girl child. It is an incentive to the parents to create funds to meet the educational need of their girl child. It also proposes to take care of the marriage expenses of their daughter.
    • Mahila E-Haat: A bilingual portal Mahila E-Haat was launched on 7 March 2016 by the Ministry of Women & Child Development. It provides web based marketing platform to leverage technology for the display of the products/services made/manufactured/ undertaken by the entrepreneurs who were women. It is an incentive platform for women to meet their needs and aspirations.
    • Support to Training and Employment Programme: The objective of this programme is to provide skills to woman, which would enhance their employability. The programme is further designed to impart proficiency and develop the skills, which would enable a woman enrolled in this programme to become self-employed.
  • Girl Child Empowerment

    • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme (BBBP): The scheme “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” (BBBP) was launched to combat the problem of gender discrimination leading to decline in CSR. The underlying objective of this initiative is to acclaim the arrival of a female child. The programme strives to stop sex selective abortion.
    • Pragati Scheme: Pragati scheme was introduced by Ministry of Human Resource Development. It seeks to provide assistance to the girls who are inclined to pursue higher technical education. Every year around 4000 scholarships are given to female meritorious students in their pursuits. Similar scheme has been introduced in other states. For example, in Bihar, a girl is given Rs. 25,000 as an incentive if she acquires graduation degree. This scheme is applicable to even married women as it is considered that by the time a girl passes graduation, she becomes a major.
  • Safety for Women

    • Nirbhaya Fund: Nirbhaya Fund was introduced in the honour of the victim brave girl. Under this scheme, the government announced to contribute Rs. 1000 crores ensuring the safety and empowerment of girls and women. The fund is intended to supplement other initiatives of the Government and NGOs, who are tasked with protection of safety and dignity of women.
    • Ujjawala Scheme: A scheme “Comprehensive Scheme for Prevention of Trafficking for Rescue, Rehabilitation and Re-Integration of Victims of Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation – Ujjwala”, funded by the Central Government, was introduced. The objective was to curb such degradable practices by involving local people, through social mobilization, talks and other awareness generation programmes. The scheme also looks after the long term rehabilitation of the victims by providing food, health services, counseling and vocational training to ensure their livelihood.
    • Swadhar Greh: Department of Women and Child Development introduced this programme to provide integrated rehabilitation to women in distress. It is intended to help women in difficulties, especially those who lack any kind of support. The purpose is to support them to become emotionally strong.
    • Mahila Police Volunteers (MPVs): To promote the visible presence of women in the police force, the Home Ministry undertook this initiative to give 33 per cent reservation to women candidates in police force. Mahila Police Volunteers have been introduced for serving as a link between the community and police for helping women in distress and to resist crime against women.
    • Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) Scheme: It is an umbrella scheme under Pradhan Mantri Sashaktikaran Yojana (PMMSY) intended to provide an interface for rural women to enable them to avail the benefits of Government programmes.
    • Women of India Festival: The Woman of India Festival is celebrated to create and promote entrepreneurship amongst women. It promotes women farmers and entrepreneurs in the organic sector. The festival supports women entrepreneurs to interact with increasing number of buyers, thus providing them an opportunity to become economically empowered. Through this festival, the Ministry also aims to make the people aware of the special schemes for women and children.

Skilling India Through Government Initiatives

  • Skill India Mission: The Skill India Mission was launched by the Prime Minister on 15 July 2015. More than one crore youth join the Skill India mission annually. Skill India is an initiative of Government of India which has been launched to empower the youth of the country with skill sets which make them more employable and more productive in their work environment.
  • National Skill Development Mission: The National Skill Development Mission was approved by the Union Cabinet on 01 July, 2015, and officially launched by the Prime Minister on 15 July 2015 on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day. The Mission has been developed to create convergence across sectors and States in terms of skill training activities. Further, to achieve the vision of ‘Skilled India’, the National Skill Development Mission would not only consolidate and coordinate skilling efforts, but also expedite decision making across sectors to achieve skilling at scale with speed and standards. It will be implemented through a streamlined institutional mechanism driven by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY): Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), which is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is implemented by National Skill Development Corporation. The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme is to enable a large number of India youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. Individuals with prior learning experience or skills will also be assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY): DDU-GKY is uniquely focused on rural youth between the ages of 15 and 35 years from poor families. As a part of the Skill India campaign, it plays an instrumental role in supporting the social and economic programmes of the government like the Make-In India, Digital India, Smart Cities and Start-Up India, Stand-Up India campaigns. Over 180 million or 69 per cent of the country’s youth population between the ages of 18 and 34 years, live in its rural areas. Of these, the bottom of the pyramid youth from poor families with no or marginal employment number about 55 million.
  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY): Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Prime Minister on April 8,2015 for providing loans up to 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, MFIs and NBFCs. Under the aegis of PMMY, MUDRA has created three products namely ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ to signify the stage of growth/ development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit/ entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation/growth.
  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM): Urban poverty being multi-dimensional, various vulnerabilities faced by the poor in cities and towns: occupational, residential and social need to be addressed simultaneously in a comprehensive and integrated manner with a targeted focus on the vulnerable groups so that a definitive impact can be made on ground. Residential vulnerability issues are being addressed through programmes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). The other two vulnerabilities: occupational and social can be best addressed by creating opportunities for skill development leading to market-based employment and helping them to set up self-employment ventures.

Ensuring Children’s Health And Nutrition

  • National Nutrition Mission (Poshan Abiyaan): The Poshan Abhiyan proposes to introduce robust convergent mechanism by mapping of various schemes related with addressing malnutrition. The initiatives proposed under Poshan Abhiyaan include real- time monitoring of programme implementation, introducing measurement of children’s height at Anganwadi centres, incentivizing States for meeting the targets and involving masses through Jan Andolan.Poshan Abhiyan aim to focus on creating synergy and bring effective convergence among various scheme to achieve nutrition goals across lifecycle (pregnancy till adolescent).
  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS): Launched on 2nd October 1975, the ICDS Scheme represents one of the world’s largest and most unique programme to improve the nutritional and health status of children aged 0 to 6 years and pregnant and nursing women. The programme provides a package of services, comprising supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check-up, referral services to children below six years of age and expectant and nursing mothers. Non-formal pre-school education is imparted to children in the age group 3-6 years and health and nutrition education to women in the age group 15-45 years. ICDS Scheme offers a package of six services, viz. health services are provided in collaboration of NHM usually by ANMs during village health nutrition and sanitation day.

Nutrition component of ICDS aims to provide the following services

  • Food supplementation to pre-school children between the age of six months to six years, pregnant and lactating mothers and selected adolescent girls
  • Nutrition education to mothers for improving dietary intake and dietary diversity
  • Nutrition education regarding appropriate infant and young child feeding
  • Growth monitoring and detection of growth faltering
  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme: School feeding programmes are considered as long term social protection investment that have multiple benefits. They serve three important perspectives: social equity through reaching the most vulnerable children, educational advancement by contributing to learning by increasing children’s access to education and maintaining their nutritional status and overall health. Additionally, they provide income support to families through the provision of food to children. Mid day meal perhaps facilitate school performance among under privileged children and class inequalities. Mid-day meal programme was launched in 1995 as central sponsored scheme. Under this programme cooked mid-day meals were to be introduced in all government and government-aided primary schools within two years. The programme envisaged the provision of cooked meals/ processed food of calorific value as per prescribed norms for children studying in classes IV in all Governmental, local body and Government aided primary schools free of cost. The Central and State Governments work hand in hand to implement the programme. Central Government issues guidelines to be followed by State Governments while executing the scheme, some states have developed separate guidelines as well.


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