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PIB 16th April

Contents

  1. AICTE gives instructions to colleges/institutions
  2. FCI moved more than double of its average food grains
  3. Review meeting of all flagship schemes of Ministry of Rural Development

AICTE GIVES INSTRUCTIONS TO COLLEGES/INSTITUTIONS

Focus: GS-II Social Justice, Prelims

Why in news?

  • Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic the country is currently observing a lock down till 3rd May 2020, AICTE has issued instructions to colleges/institutions and has directed them that ensuring safety precautions during the threat posted by COVID-19 would be fundamental responsibility of all citizens of India, during this hour of crisis.
  • Likewise, Heads of Institutions have the onerous responsibility of safeguarding the health and associated interest of all stakeholders of their respective colleges/ institutions.

AICTE

  • The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is the statutory body (AICTE Act) and a national-level council for technical education, under Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • It was initially only an advisory body under Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, under Government of India. However, it was in 1987 that it was given a statutory status under an Act of the Parliament.

Objectives of AICTE

  1. To plan, formulate and maintain the norms and standards by acting as a statutory authority.
  2. To provide quality assurance through accreditation.
  3. To monitor, evaluate and provide funding for the priority areas.
  4.  Maintaining parity of certification & awards.
  5. To manage and develop the technical education system of India.

Schemes undertaken by AICTE

Margadarshan:

  • Institutions having good accreditation records or the top-performing institutions are selected to mentor relatively newer 10 to 12 potential institutions.
  • Best teaching and learning practices followed in the mentor institute will be simulated in the identified mentee institutions.
  • The mentee institutions will also be provided with funding up to Rs. 50 lakhs (per institution) over a period of three years (in instalments), for carrying out various activities like training, workshops, conferences, etc.

Margdarshak:

  • The mentor teachers or the Margdarshaks, who are either serving or are superannuated, with good knowledge of accreditation and are willing and motivated to devote adequate time to the mentee Institutions are identified.
  • These Margdarshaks will regularly visit the identified mentee institutions, stay on their campus and guide them for the improvement in their quality so that institutions are able to get accreditation by the National Board of Accreditation.

Waste Management Accelerators for Aspire Women Entrepreneurs (Wawe) Summit 2019

  • The Wawe Summit will be the largest gathering of young women students, that will promote entrepreneurship in waste management and provide alternatives to single-use plastic carry bags.
  • The theme of the summit is: “Make your own bag – empowering women to take up income generation activity and entrepreneurship in waste management, through making a business out of this record-creating concept.”

FCI MOVED MORE THAN DOUBLE OF ITS AVERAGE FOOD GRAINS

Focus: GS-II Social Justice, Prelims

Why in news?

  • Running the largest food grain supply chain system for public distribution in the world during the country wide lockdown is the challenge taken up by Food Corporation of India (FCI) in a testing environment.
  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY), which provides 5 Kg food grains free of cost to every beneficiary covered under NFSA for 3 months, a quantity of 2.56 MMT stocks have already been issued.
  • FCI has ensured continuous supply of food grains across the country during these tough times by undertaking operations with the full support of Indian Railways, other central government agencies like Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), State Warehousing Corporations (SWC) and FCI employees and labour.

Food Corporation of India (FCI)

  • Food Corporation of India (FCI) is a Public Sector Undertaking, under the Department of Food & Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, GOI.
  • It is a statutory body set up in 1965 under the Food Corporations Act, 1964.
  • It was established against the backdrop of major grains shortage, especially of wheat.

Functions of FCI

  • The Food Corporation of India procures rice and wheat from farmers through many routes like paddy purchase centres/mill levy/custom milling and stores them in depots.
  • FCI maintains many types of depots like food storage depots and buffer storage complexes and private equity godowns and also implemented latest storage methods of silo storage facilities which are located at Hapur in Uttar Pradesh, Malur in Karnataka and Elavur in Tamil Nadu.
  • The stocks are transported throughout India by means of railways, roadways and waterways and issued to the state government nominees at the rates declared by the Government of India for further distribution under the Public Distribution System (PDS) for the consumption of the ration card holders. FCI itself does not directly distribute any stock under PDS, and its operations end at the exit of the stock from its depots.
  • The difference between the purchase price and sale price, along with internal costs, are reimbursed by the Union Government in the form of food subsidy.
  • FCI by itself is not a decision-making authority; it does not decide anything about the MSP, imports or exports. It just implements the decisions made by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Ministry of Agriculture.

Objectives of FCI

  • To provide farmers remunerative prices
  • To make food grains available at reasonable prices, particularly to vulnerable sections of society
  • To maintain buffer stocks for food security
  • To intervene in market for price stabilization

NFSA

  • The Act was signed into law on 12th September 2013 retroactive to 5th July 2013.
  • The Act is in line with Goal Two of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • Goal 2 seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security.
  • The aim is to ensure that everyone everywhere has enough good-quality food to lead a healthy life.
  • Schemes such as the Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDM), the Public Distribution System (PDS), and the  Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) are included under the Act.
  • The Act is being implemented by all the States and the Union Territories.
  • Coverage: The state-wise coverage determined by the NITI Aayog on the basis of the 2011-12 Household Consumption Expenditure survey of NSSO. 
  • The Act legally entitled up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized foodgrains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
  • About two-thirds of the population, therefore, is covered under the Act to receive highly subsidized foodgrains.

REVIEW MEETING OF ALL FLAGSHIP SCHEMES OF MINISTRY OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

Minister for Rural Development, Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare conducted a detailed review of all flagship schemes of Ministry of Rural Development on 16th April 2020.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, MGNREGA, is an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’. This act was passed in September 2005.
  • It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • It covers all districts of India except the ones with 100% urban population.
  • MGNREGA is to be implemented mainly by gram panchayats (GPs). The involvement of contractors is banned.
  • Apart from providing economic security and creating rural assets, NREGA can help in protecting the environment, empowering rural women, reducing rural-urban migration and fostering social equity, among others.

How MGNREGA came to be?

In 1991, the P.V Narashima Rao government proposed a pilot scheme for generating employment in rural areas with the following goals:

  • Employment Generation for agricultural labour during the lean season.
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Enhanced Food Security

This scheme was called the Employment Assurance Scheme which later evolved into the MGNREGA after the merger with the Food for Work Programme in the early 2000s.

Features of MGNREGA

  • It gives a significant amount of control to the Gram Panchayats for managing public works, strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions.
  • Gram Sabhas are free to accept or reject recommendations from Intermediate and District Panchayats.
  • It incorporates accountability in its operational guidelines and ensures compliance and transparency at all levels.

Objectives of MGNREGA

  • Provide 100 days of guaranteed wage employment to rural unskilled labour
  • Increase economic security
  • Decrease migration of labour from rural to urban areas

Deendayal Antyoday Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM)

  • National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) is a poverty alleviation project implemented by Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.
  • This scheme is focused on promoting self-employment and organization of rural poor.
  • The basic idea behind this programme is to organize the poor into SHG (Self Help Groups) groups and make them capable for self-employment.
  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) is a new name given to Aajeevika – NRLM in ovember 2015.
  • The objective of the Mission is to promote sustainable livelihoods for the poor such that they come out of poverty. The institutions of the poor are intended to facilitate
    • access to formal credit;
    • support for diversification and strengthening of livelihoods;
    • and access to entitlements and public services.
  • The initiative to move towards a demand-driven strategy enabling the states to formulate their own livelihoods-based poverty reduction action plan is at the core of the mission.
  • The strength of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development, are the approximately 690 lakh women members of around 63 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) across the country.

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin)

  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme was launched by the Government of India to boost the affordability of houses against an inflated real estate sector. The scheme aims to achieve its objective of “Housing for All” by 31 March 2022, the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 20 million houses across the nation.
  • Based on the areas that it caters to, this Yojana has two parts – Urban and Gramin.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G) was formerly called the Indira Awas Yojana and was renamed in March 2016. It is targeted at promoting accessibility and affordability of housing for all of rural India with the exceptions of Delhi and Chandigarh.
  • The objective is to provide financial assistance to the homeless and those residing in decrepit houses to assist them in the construction of pucca houses.
  • Beneficiaries of this PMAY scheme will be identified as per data available from the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) and include –
    • Scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
    • Non-SC/ST and minorities under BPL.
    • Freed bonded labourers.
    • Next of kin and widows of paramilitary forces and individuals killed in action, ex-servicemen, and those under a retirement scheme.

DISHA Committees

  • The Union Ministry of Rural Development launched the formation of District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee (DDCMC) called “Disha” in 2016.
  • DISHA supersedes the District Vigilance & Monitoring Committee under Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  • It will work for effective development coordination of almost all the programmes of Central Government, whether it is for infrastructure development or Social and human resource development.
  • These Committees monitors the implementation of 28 schemes and programmes of Ministry of Rural Development and other Ministries to promote synergy and convergence for greater impact.
  • The main purpose of this committee is to coordinate with Central and State and local Panchayat Governments, for successful and timely implementation of the schemes.
  • This will help government officials at all levels explore and assess key government initiatives for any geographic level, at any time period.
  • It ensures the participation of people’s representative at all levels in it and successful implementation of flagship programme of central government.
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