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PIB 15th May 2021

CONTENTS

  1. PM KISAN
  2. BASAVA JAYANTHI
  3. MUCORMYCOSIS
  4. SOVERIGN GOLD BOND SCHEME
  5. VAN DHAN VIKAS YOJANA

PM KISAN

Focus: GS II- Welfare Schemes

Why in news?

PM releases 8th instalment of financial benefit under PM-KISAN.

  • For the first time, farmers of West Bengal will benefit from this scheme.

About PM KISAN

Nodal: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

  • The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme is a Central Sector Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme, under which, financial assistance of Rs.6000/- per annum is provided to all landholding farmer families across the country, subject to certain exclusion criteria relating to higher income strata, to enable them to take care of expenses related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs.
  • It has become operational from 1.12.2018.
  • Under the scheme an income support of 6,000/- per year in three equal installments will be provided to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of upto 2 hectares.
  • The Scheme initially provided income support to all Small and Marginal Farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land upto 2 hectares.
  • Its ambit was later expanded to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their land holdings. 
  • Definition of family for the scheme is husband, wife and minor children.
  • State Government and UT administration will identify the farmer families which are eligible for support as per scheme guidelines.
  • The fund will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
  • There are various Exclusion Categories for the scheme.
About Significance of the PM-KISAN
  • Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this. It 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.
  • It would pave the way for the farmers to earn and live a respectable living.
Some of the categories of beneficiaries who are NOT eligible for benefit under this scheme are:
  • Any institutional land-holders.
  • The farmer as well as any member of the family belonging to the following categories:
    • Former and present holders of constitutional posts
    • Former and present Ministers/ State Ministers
    • Former or present members of LokSabha/ RajyaSabha/ State Legislative Assemblies/ State Legislative Councils
    • Former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporations
    • Former and present Chairpersons of District Panchayats.
    • Any serving or retired officers as well as employees under the Central/ State Government Ministries /Offices/Departments.
    • All retired pensioners who get a monthly pension of Rs.10,000/-or more and belonging to the above category.
    • Any individual who paid their income tax in the last assessment year is not eligible under this scheme.
    • Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with Professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices.

BASAVA JAYANTHI

Focus: GS I- Person in news, History

Why in news?

PM bows to Jagadguru Basaveshwara on Basava Jayanthi.

  • Basava Jayanthi is an annual event celebrated in the honour of the birth of Vishwaguru  Basaveshwara, the 12th century philosopher and social reformer who gave a unique spiritual path to mankind.

Key Points

See the source image
  • Basavanna was a 12th-century philosopher, statesman, Kannada poet and a social reformer during the reign of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka,
  • His spiritual discipline was based on the principles of Arivu (true knowledge), Achara (right conduct), and Anubhava (divine experience) and it brought social, religious and economical revolution in the 12th century.
  • This path advocates a holistic approach of Lingangayoga (union with the divine). This comprehensive discipline encompasses bhakti (devotion), jnana (knowledge), and kriye (action) in a well balanced manner.
  • His practical approach and act of establishment of ‘Kalyana Rajya’ (Welfare state) brought a new status and position for all the citizens of the society, irrespective of class, caste, creed and sex.
  • Basavanna spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas.
  • Basavanna rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals.
  • As a leader, he developed and inspired a new devotional movement named Virashaivas, or “ardent, heroic worshippers of Shiva”. This movement shared its roots in the ongoing Tamil Bhakti movement, particularly the Shaiva Nayanars traditions, over the 7th- to 11th-century.
  • Basaveshwara is the first Kannadiga in whose honour a commemorative coin has been minted in recognition of his social reforms.
  • In November 2015, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inaugurated the statue of Basaveshwara along the bank of the river Thames at Lambeth in London.
Basavanna and Sharana movement:
  • The Sharana movement he presided over attracted people from all castes, and like most strands of the Bhakti movement, produced a corpus of literature, the vachanas, that unveiled the spiritual universe of the Veerashaiva saints.
  • The egalitarianism of Basavanna’s Sharana movement was too radical for its times.
  • He set up the Anubhava Mandapa, where the Sharanas, drawn from different castes and communities, gathered and engaged in learning and discussions.
  • Sharanas challenged the final bastion of the caste order: they organised a wedding where the bridegroom was from a lower caste, and the bride a Brahmin.
Anubhava Mantapa:
  • He established the Anubhava Mantapa, which was a common forum for all to discuss the prevailing problems of socio, economic and political strata including religious and spiritual principles along with personal problems.
  • Thus, it was the first and foremost Parliament of India, where Sharanas (citizens of welfare society) sat together and discussed the socialistic principles of a Democratic set up.
  • All those discussions of Sharanas were written in the form of Vachanas.
  • Vachanas were an innovative literary form written in simple Kannada language.
Basaveshwara gave two more very important socio-economic principles. They are:
  • Kayaka (Divine work): According to this, every individual of the society should take up the job of his choice and perform it with all sincerity.
  • Dasoha (Equal distribution): There must be an equal income for equal work.
    • The worker (Kayakajeevi) may lead his day-today life by his hard earned income. But he should not preserve the money or property for tomorrow. He must utilise the surplus money for the society and poors.

MUCORMYCOSIS

Focus: GS II- Health

Why in news?

A sudden increase in demand has been observed in some states for Amphotericin B which is being actively prescribed by the physicians to patients suffering from Mucormycosis, a post COVID complication.

About Mucormycosis:

  • Black Fungus or Mucormycosis, previously called zygomycosis, is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes which exist in the environment.
  • The disease is often characterized by hyphae growing in and around blood vessels and can be potentially life-threatening in diabetic or severely immunocompromised individuals.
  • Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.
  • Mucormycosis causes loss of eyesight, removal of the nose and jaw bone, and 50 per cent mortality in cases where it affects the brain — within 15 days.
  • The symptoms in general are face numbness, one-side nose obstructions or swelling of eyes, or pain – affected skin may appear relatively normal during the earliest stages of infection, however, this skin quickly becomes reddened and may be swollen before eventually turning black due to tissue death.
  • Other forms of mucormycosis may involve the lungs, skin, or be widespread throughout the body; symptoms may also include difficulty breathing, and persistent cough.
How it is related with COVID-19?
  • The disease is caused by a set of micro-organisms known as mucormycetes, which are present naturally in the environment, seen mostly in soil and in decaying organic matter like leaves, compost and piles.
  • In normal course, our body’s immune system successfully fights such fungal infections. However, we know that COVID-19 affects our immune system. Moreover, the treatment of COVID-19 patients involves intake of drugs like dexamethasone, which suppress our immune system response. Due to these factors, COVID-19 patients face a renewed risk of failing the battle against attacks mounted by organisms such as mucormycetes.
  • In addition, COVID patients undergoing oxygen therapy in ICU, where humidifier is used, are prone to fungal infection because of exposure to moisture.
  • But this does not mean that every COVID patient will get infected by Mucormycosis. The disease is uncommon in those not having diabetes but can be fatal if not treated promptly. Chances of recovery depend upon early diagnosis and treatment.
Mucormycetes
  • Mucormycetes, the group of fungi that cause mucormycosis, are present throughout the environment, particularly in soil and in association with decaying organic matter, such as leaves, compost piles, and animal dung.
  • Several different types of fungi can cause mucormycosis and belong to the scientific order Mucorales.
  • The most common types that cause mucormycosis are Rhizopus species and Mucor species.
  • They are more common in soil than in air, and in summer and fall than in winter or spring.
  • These fungi are not harmful to most people but for people who have weakened immune systems, breathing in micromycetes spores can cause an infection.
Amphotericin B (AmB)
  • It is a polyene antifungal antibiotic that causes damage to fungal and host cells by altering cell membrane permeability.
  • Amphotericin B appears as deep yellow prisms.
  • It is a yellow to orange, odourless, or practically odourless, powder.

SOVERIGN GOLD BOND SCHEME

Focus: GS II- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

Why in News?

The Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds. 

About Soverign Gold Bond Scheme (SGB)

  • The Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme was introduced in the Union Budget 2015-16 by the Union Cabinet which was chaired by PM Narendra Modi.
  • It was launched to reduce the demand for physical gold and with an aim to invest a part of these physicals gold bars and coins that are purchased every year into financial savings in the form of gold bonds.
  • Investors have to pay the issue price in cash and the bonds will be redeemed in cash on maturity.
  • The Bond is issued by Reserve Bank on behalf of Government of India.
  • Government introduced these bonds to help reduce India’s over dependence on gold imports.
  • The move was also aimed at changing the habits of Indians from saving in physical form of gold to a paper form with Sovereign backing.
  • The bonds will be restricted for sale to resident Indian entities, including individuals, Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs), trusts, universities and charitable institutions.
  • The bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
  • The tenor will be for a period of 8 years with exit option from the 5th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
  • The minimum permissible investment limit will be 1 gram of gold, while the maximum limit will be 4 kg for individual, 4 kg for HUF and 20 kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March) notified by the government from time to time.
  • In case of joint holding, the investment limit of 4 kg will be applied to the first applicant only.
  • Bonds can be used as collateral for loans.
  • The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is to be set equal to ordinary gold loan mandated by the Reserve Bank from time to time.
Benefits of Soverign Gold Bond
  • As a low-risk investment, it is perfect for investors with low-risk appetite.
  • Compared to physical gold, the cost to purchase or sell SGBs is quite low.
  • The expense of buying or selling the SGB is also nominal in comparison to the physical gold.
  • The gold bonds can be availed either in paper or in demat form as per the convenience of an individual.
  • The gold bonds invested by the Investors can be gifted or transferred to others who are eligible under the scheme.
  • They can also trade these bonds on stock exchanges subject to notifications of the Reserve Bank of India.
  • These Gold bonds can be purchased through multiple payment modes such as cheques, cash, DDs or electronic transfer.

VAN DHAN VIKAS YOJANA

Focus: GS II- Government policies and intervention, Prelims

About Van Dhan Vikas Yojana:

Nodal: Ministry of Tribal affairs

  • TRIFED is the implementation agency of the Van Dhan programme
  • The program addresses the formidable problems that the Tribals face such as possession of land/house with no rights; restrictions in the collection of minor forest produce; exploitation by middlemen; displacement from national parks and wild sanctuaries, lack of development in forest villages etc.
  • The Van Dhan Yojana or Van Dhan Scheme, a component of the The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’
    • An initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribal gatherers and transforming them into entrepreneurs.
    • The idea is to set-up tribal community-owned Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs) in predominantly forested tribal districts.
    • A Kendra shall constitute of 15 tribal SHGs, each comprising of up to 20 tribal NTFP (Non timber forest products) gatherers or artisans i.e. about 300 beneficiaries per Van Dhan Kendra.
    • 100% Central Government Funded with TRIFED providing Rs. 15 lakhs for each 300 member Van Dhan Kendra.
TRIFED:

Nodal: Ministry of tribal affairs

  • The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) came into existence in 1987.
  • It is a national-level apex organization functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
Objectives
  • The ultimate objective of TRIFED is socio-economic development of tribal people in the country by way of marketing development of the tribal products.
  • TRIFED acts as a facilitator and service provider for tribes to sell their product.
  • The approach by TRIFED aims to empower tribal people with knowledge, tools and pool of information so that they can undertake their operations in a more systematic and scientific manner.

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