Polity & Governance
- ‘Anubhav’ – showcasing outstanding work done during service
- Cabinet approves Stand Up India Scheme
- Cabinet approves creation of a Credit Guarantee Fund for MUDRA loans
- First River Information System of India
Environment & Ecology
- India To Implement Stricter Emission Norms, skipping BS-V altogether
- MoU between India and Bangladesh for setting up of Border Haats
Polity & Governance
‘Anubhav’ – showcasing outstanding work done during service
The Department of Pension & Pensioner’s Welfare has launched an online software, ‘Anubhav’ for showcasing outstanding work by retiring employee and sharing experience of working with the Government.
- The software has been launched on the directions of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
- It is envisaged that over a period of time, this will create a wealth of institutional memory with replicable ideas and suggestions.
- This tool in addition, gives opportunity to the retiring employee to invest his experience, skill and time for growth of social capital of the country.
- The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his address to civil servants on Civil Service Day celebrations on 21st April 2015 desired that ‘Anubhav’ be nurtured and promoted as tool for creating a wealth of institutional memory.
Cabinet approves Stand Up India Scheme
The Union Cabinet has approved the “Stand Up India Scheme” to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and Women entrepreneurs.
- The Scheme is intended to facilitate at least two such projects per bank branch, on an average one for each category of entrepreneur.
- It is expected to benefit at least 2.5 lakh borrowers.
- The expected date of reaching the target of at least 2.5 lakh approvals is 36 months from the launch of the Scheme.
The Stand Up India Scheme provides for:
- Refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with an initial amount of Rs. 10,000 crore.
- Creation of a credit guarantee mechanism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC).
- Handholding support for borrowers both at the pre loan stage and during operations. This would include increasing their familiarity with factoring services, registration with online platforms and e-market places as well as sessions on best practices and problem solving.
The details of the scheme:
- Focus is on handholding support for both SC/ST and Women borrowers.
- The overall intent of the approval is to leverage the institutional credit structure to reach out to these under-served sectors of the population by facilitating bank loans repayable up to 7 years and between Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 100 lakh for greenfield enterprises in the non farm sector set up by such SC, ST and Women borrowers.
- The loan under the scheme would be appropriately secured and backed by a credit guarantee through a credit guarantee scheme for which Department of Financial Services would be the settler and National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd. (NCGTC) would be the operating agency.
- Margin money of the composite loan would be up to 25%. Convergence with state schemes is expected to reduce the actual requirement of margin money for a number of borrowers.
- Over a period of time, it is proposed that a credit history of the borrower be built up through Credit Bureaus.
- The “Start up India Stand up India” initiative was announced by the Prime Minister in his address to the nation on 15th August, 2015.
- The Stand up India component is anchored by Department of Financial Services (DFS) to encourage Greenfield enterprises by SC/ST and Women entrepreneurs.
Cabinet approves creation of a Credit Guarantee Fund for MUDRA loans
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the creation of a Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) loans.
- Approval has also been given for converting MUDRA Ltd into MUDRA Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Bank as a wholly owned subsidiary of SIDBI.
- The fund is expected to guarantee more than Rs. 1,00,000 crore worth of loans to micro and small units at the first instance.
The salient features of the scheme:
- Establishment of Credit Guarantee Fund for MUDRA Units (CGFMU) for guaranteeing loans sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana with the objective of reducing the credit risk to banks/NBFCs/MFIs/other financial intermediaries, who are Member Lending Institutions (MLIs).
- National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd. (NCGTC Ltd), a wholly-owned company of the Government of India, constituted under the Companies Act, 1956 (2013) to manage and operate various credit guarantee funds, would be the trustee of the fund.
- The guarantee would be provided on a portfolio basis to a maximum extent of 50 per cent of the amount in Default in the portfolio.
The MUDRA (SIDBI) Bank will undertake refinance operations and provide support services with focus on portal management; data analysis etc. apart from any other activity entrusted/ advised by the Government of India.
MUDRA Bank and a Credit Guarantee Fund was proposed to be set up with a refinance corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore and a corpus of Rs.3,000 crore respectively as per the Budget Speech for 2015-16.
First River Information System of India
Union Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways has inaugurated the River Information System (RIS) System.
- The first of its kind in India, the new system will facilitate safe and accurate navigation on National Waterway – 1 on the Ganges River.
- RIS is being implemented under the overall responsibility of Inland Waterway Authority of India, a statutory body administered by the Ministry of Shipping.
- River Information Services (RIS) are combination of modern tracking equipment related hardware and software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation.
- The system enhances swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (Base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information.
- RIS aims to streamline the exchange of information between waterway operators and users.
This would facilitate:
- Enhancement of inland navigation safety in ports and rivers.
- Better use of the inland waterways
- Environmental protection
RIS enables achievement of safe and efficient inland water transport by avoiding the following risks:
- Ship- to – Ship collisions
- Ship – Bridge collisions
Environment & Ecology
India To Implement Stricter Emission Norms, skipping BS-V altogether
In a bid to curb vehicular pollution, the government has decided to implement stricter emission norms of Bharat Stage (BS) VI from April 1, 2020 by skipping BS-V altogether.
- This decision was taken recently at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
- At present, BS-IV auto fuels are being supplied in whole of northern India covering J&K, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, parts of Rajasthan and western UP. The rest of the country has BS-III grade fuel.
[Ref: BS, PIB]
MoU between India and Bangladesh for setting up of Border Haats
The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh for Mode of Operation of Border Haats signed in 2010 with Bangladesh for setting up Border Haats on India-Bangladesh Border.
About Border Haats:
- The Border Haats are the local markets of traditional system of marketing the local produce through local currency and/or barter basis.
- Border Haats aim at promoting the well-being of the people dwelling in remote areas across the borders of two countries.
Though not significant as a percentage of bilateral trade, these measures help to improve economic well-being of marginalised sections of society.
During the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister to India in 2010, it was agreed that Border Haats shall be established on a pilot basis at selected areas, including on the Meghalaya border, to allow trade in specified products and in accordance with the regulations agreed and notified by both Governments.
The following Border Haats are already operational:
1. Kalaichar (Meghalaya-Bangladesh border)
2. Balat (Meghalaya-Bangladesh border)
3. Kamlasagar (Tripura-Bangladesh border)
4. Srinagar (Tripura-Bangladesh border)
In addition, both the Government agreed to further establish two Border Haats in Tripura and four Border Haats in Meghalaya on the Bangladesh border.