Polity & Governance
- Health Ministry organises national workshop for Population Research Centres (PRCs)
Government Schemes & Policies
- PM-KISAN Scheme extension to include all eligible farmer
- Union cabinet approves major changes in the ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’
- Cabinet clears pension scheme for traders
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Polity & Governance
Health Ministry organises national workshop for Population Research Centres (PRCs)
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently organized a workshop for Population Research Centres (PRCs) to highlight the various features of the flagship schemes of the Health Ministry for concurrent monitoring.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF WORKSHOP:
- The objective of the workshop was to integrate the PRCs with the institute they are anchored in for more thoughtful insights of local and current issues to enrich their research.
- Rural Health Statistics (2017-18) and a Compendium of Studies Conducted by the PRCS (2017-18) was also launched.
EVOLUTION OF PRC:
- On the recommendations of Demographic Sub-Committee in 1955, the Ministry of Health provided grants for the establishment of Demographic Research Centres (DRC) in Delhi and Calcutta to undertake research on various demographic, social & economic aspects of population growth in their respective regions.
- Later on, Family Planning Communication Action Research Centres were established to carry out research studies in the field of family planning communication.
- The nomenclatures of DRC and Family Planning Committee Action Research Centres were changed to Population Research Centre (PRC) in 1978-79 after taking into account the fact that activities of all research centres were more or less alike.
- In 2013-14, a Committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Shri Manoj Jhalani, JS (Policy) which submitted “Report of the PRC Committee” to make recommendations on devising a systematic work plan for the PRCs in the Country.
- Since 2013-14, PRCs are involved in the monitoring of State Programme Implementation Plans (PIP) under National Health Mission (NHM) in addition to their research work.
POPULATION RESEARCH CENTRES (PRCS)
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) established a network of Population Research Centres (PRCs) with the mandate to provide, inter alia, critical research based inputs related to the Health and Family Welfare Programs and Policies at the national and state levels.
- Their main role is to undertake research projects relating to family planning, demographic research and biological studies & qualitative aspect of population control, with a view to gainfully utilize the feedback from these research studies for plan formulation, strategies and modifications of on- going schemes.
- The PRCs are autonomous in nature and administratively under the control of their host University/Institutions. However, PRCs are established as well as fully funded by the Ministry of health & family Welfare.
- The first PRC was established at the “Institute of Economic Growth”, University of Delhi, in 1958 and the last at “Dr. H.S. Gour Central University”, Sagar in 1999.
- The MoHFW has established the network of 18 Population Research Centres (PRCs) spread over 17 major States/UTs. Out of total 18, 12 are attached to various Universities and 6 are in research institutions of national repute.
PRCs are involved in:
- Concurrent Evaluation of National Health Mission (NHM) conducted by the Health Ministry throughout the country during 2008-09
- Large scale sample surveys of the Ministry like District Level Household survey (DLHS), National Family Health Survey (NFHS) and Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI),
- All India study on “Rapid Appraisal of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)
- Monitor important components of NHM Programme Implementation Plans
Government Schemes & Policies
PM-KISAN Scheme extension to include all eligible farmer
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved that the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) would be comprehensively extended.
- The revised Scheme is expected to cover around 2 crore more farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries.
- With this decision, all land holding eligible farmer families (subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria) would avail of the benefits under this scheme.
ABOUT THE PM-KISAN:
In the Interim budget of 2019-20, Government has announced the ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)’ for providing an assured income support to the small and marginal farmers.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PROGRAMME:
- Under this programme, vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year.
- This income support will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal instalments of Rs. 2,000 each.
- This programme will be funded by Government of India.
- This programme will entail an annual expenditure of Rs. 75,000 crores.
SIGNIFICANCE OF PROGRAMME:
- Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit.
- PM-KISAN would not only provide assured supplemental income to the most vulnerable farmer families, but would also meet their emergent needs especially before the harvest season.
- PM-KISAN would pave the way for the farmers to earn and live a respectable living.
Union cabinet approves major changes in the ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’
Union cabinet approved a major change in the ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’ under the National Defence Fund.
CHANGES MADE IN ‘PRIME MINISTER’S SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME’:
- The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs. 2000 per month to Rs. 2500 per month for boys and from Rs. 2250 per month to Rs. 3000 per month for girls.
- The ambit of the Scholarship Scheme has been extended to the wards of State Police officials who are or were martyred during terror or Naxal attacks.
- The quota of new scholarships for the wards of state police officials will be 500 in a year. The Ministry of Home Affairs will be the nodal Ministry in this regard.
NATIONAL DEFENCE FUND (NDF)
- The National Defence Fund (NDF) was set up in 1962 to take charge of the voluntary donations in cash and kind received for promotion of the national defence effort, and to decide on their utilisation.
- Currently, the fund is being used for the welfare of the members of the Armed Forces, Para Military forces and Railway Protection Force, and their dependents.
- The fund is administered by an Executive Committee with the Prime Minister as the Chairperson and the Defence, Finance and Home Ministers as Members.
- Under National Defence Fund major scheme of ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS)’ is being implemented to encourage technical and post-graduate education for the widows and wards of the deceased/ex-service personnel.
- Scholarships are available for education at technical institutions (medical, dental, veterinary, engineering, MBA, MCA and other equivalent technical professions with suitable AICTE/UGC approval).
- The National Defence Fund accepts online voluntary contributions through the website.
PRIME MINISTER’S SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME (PMSS):
- Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme, under the aegis of the National Defence Fund, was introduced in 2006-07 to encourage higher technical and professional education for the dependent wards of Ex Servicemen / Ex Coast Guard personnel and their widows.
- The scheme is being implemented by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence in respect of armed forces.
- In so far as personnel of paramilitary forces and Railway Protection force are concerned, the scheme is being implemented by Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Railways respectively.
- The duration of Scholarship is upto five years.
- The PMSS is restricted to first Professional Degree Courses only like BE, B Tech, BDS, MBBS etc.
- There are 7 categories for scholarship preference from A to G. For example, preference is given to Wards/Widows of CAPFs & AR personnel killed in action than to Wards of Ex- CAPFs & AR personnel (PBOR).
[Ref: PIB, Business Standard]
Cabinet clears pension scheme for traders
The Union Cabinet has approved a new scheme that offers pension coverage to the trading community to provide a robust architecture of universal social security.
- The scheme would benefit more than 3 crore small shopkeepers and traders.
HOW THE SCHEME WORKS?
- Under this scheme all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured a minimum monthly pension of Rs. 3,000/- month after attaining the age of 60 years.
- The scheme is based on self-declaration as no documents are required except Aadhaar and bank account.
- The Central Government will make matching contribution in the subscribers’ account. For example, if a person with age of 29 years contributes Rs. 100/- month, then the Central Government also contributes the equal amount as subsidy into subscriber’s pension account every month.
- All small shopkeepers and self-employed persons as well as the retail traders with GST turnover below Rs. 1.5 crore and age between 18-40 years, can enrol for this scheme.