- Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
- Online Dispute Resolution for Ease of Doing Business
- Knit India movement and Quit India Goals
- Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra
AGRICULTURE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND
Focus: GS-III Agriculture, Indian Economy
Why in news?
Prime Minister launched a new Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs. 1 Lakh Crore.
Highlights of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
- Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is a pan India central sector scheme to inject formal credit into farm and farm-processing based activities.
- The Aim is to provide medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets.
- The fund was initially announced during the Third Tranche of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Economic Stimulus Package
- This scheme provides a good opportunity for start-ups in agriculture to avail the benefits and scale their operations, thereby creating an ecosystem that reaches farmers in every corner of the country.
Details of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
- The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee.
- The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will be financed and managed by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
- Financing will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), Self Help Group (SHG), Farmers, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs and Central/State agencies or Local Bodies sponsored by Public Private Partnership Projects.
- The funds will be provided for setting up of cold stores and chains, warehousing, silos, assaying, grading and packaging units, e-marketing points linked to e-trading platforms and ripening chambers, besides PPP projects for crop aggregation sponsored by central/state/local bodies.
- A credit guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers from the scheme under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for a loan up to Rs. 2 crores.
- The fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform. It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for loan under the Fund.
What is a Centrally Sector Scheme?
- Under Central sector schemes, it is 100% funded by the Union government and implemented by the Central Government machinery.
- Central sector schemes are mainly formulated on subjects from the Union List.
- In addition, the Central Ministries also implement some schemes directly in States/UTs which are called Central Sector Schemes but resources under these Schemes are not generally transferred to States.
How is it different from Centrally Sponsored Schemes?
- Under Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) a certain percentage of the funding is borne by the States in the ratio of 50:50, 70:30, 75:25 or 90:10 and the implementation is by the State Governments.
- Centrally Sponsored Schemes are formulated in subjects from the State List to encourage States to prioritise in areas that require more attention.
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
- NABARD is a development bank focussing primarily on the rural sector of the country.
- It is a statutory body established in 1982 under Parliamentary act; National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981.
- NABARD is the Apex banking institution to provide finance for Agriculture and rural development which is Headquartered at Mumbai.
- It is responsible for the development of the small industries, cottage industries, and any other such village or rural projects.
ONLINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION FOR EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
Focus: GS-III Indian Economy
Why in news?
- NITI Aayog held a conversation with heads of legal firms and industry representatives to explore the massive potential of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) to enhance the Ease of Doing Business in India.
- Recognising the essence of ODR, CII has been undertaking a plethora of initiatives such as setting up a CII Centre for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR).
- In today’s age of data-driven solutions and machine learning, ODR provides the potential to resolve a substantial percentage of disputes at the site of their occurrence without burdening the courts.
- Emphasising that ODR can act as a complement to the court system, former Supreme Court Justice said that it will be an auxiliary of the court system, in the sense that it will prevent a large number of litigations that clutter the courts.
- (A litigant does not need to travel from Kerala to Delhi to solve his dispute, he/she can resolve it through the electronic platform. Online Dispute Resolution can help deliver justice to the doorstep of the litigant.)
What is ODR?
Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is the resolution of disputes, particularly small- and medium-value cases, using digital technology and techniques of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), such as negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.
Highlights and points in favour of ODR
ODR can be a game-changer for citizens as well as Indian businesses, particularly MSMEs as –
- It can help reduce the cost of dispute resolution in the face of rising cases and disputes.
- It will allow citizens and consumers to raise any grievances they may have at the click of a button and have an independent third-party firm review and address their grievance, this can help businesses enhance consumer trust and improve customer retention.
- In the medium-term, once ODR firms have collected enough data around disputes, it can start feeding back into business decisions regarding the product and service being offered, this will help businesses sharpen their offerings besides improving access to dispute resolution.
“KNIT INDIA MOVEMENT” AND QUIT INDIA GOALS
Focus: GS-I History
Why in news?
On the occasion of the 78th anniversary today of the launch of Quit India movement, Vice President of India has called for an intensified campaign of ‘Knit India’ to enable a strong and fully emotionally integrated nation that would offer the best defence against the evil designs of forces inimical to the country.
Highlights of the Vice-President’s call for a new “Knit India Movement”
- The series of foreign invasions and the colonial exploitation during the long period of 1000-1947 was marked by lack of unity in the country.
- During this long period of second millennium, the country paid a very heavy price in the form of cultural subjugation and economic exploitation that enfeebled the once rich India.
- The hard-fought independence in 1947 was not just about ending the colonial rule of the preceding 200 years but also bringing down curtains on the 1000 year long dark age during when the country was plundered at will by the invaders, traders and the colonialists taking advantage of the lack of unity among the Indians.
- The Vice-President referred to the destruction of Somnath temple and the long period of 925 taken to rebuilt the same after independence.
- The British drained US $ 45 Trillion of India’s wealth during 1765-1938 in various forms that amounted to 17 times the GDP of the UK in 2018.
- Learning from history, all Indians need to be bound by the shared sense of ‘Indianness’ while pursuing their respective cultural values and ethos.
- The Vice-President stressed on the need to Knit India into one single fabric by ensuring equality of all and equal opportunities for all and noted that a divided and iniquitous society does not enable the fullest development of all Indians to their capacity.
- Referring to the celebration of 75 years of independence in 2022, he urged the people of the country to take a pledge to drive poverty, illiteracy, inequality, gender discrimination, corruption and all kinds of social evils that are in the way of realizing a new India of the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and every aspiring Indian.
Quit India Movement
- The Quit India Movement also known as the August Movement, was a movement launched at the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee by Mahatma Gandhi on 8 August 1942, during World War II, demanding an end to British Rule of India.
- The Cripps Mission had failed, and Gandhi made a call to Do or Die in his Quit India speech, followed by the launch of a mass protest demanding what Gandhi called “An Orderly British Withdrawal” from India.
- Almost the entire leadership of the Indian National Congress was imprisoned without trial within hours of Gandhi’s speech.
Lack of Unity
- The British had the support of the Viceroy’s Council (which had a majority of Indians), of the All India Muslim League, the princely states, the Indian Imperial Police, the British Indian Army, the Hindu Mahasabha and the Indian Civil Service.
- Many Indian businessmen profiting from heavy wartime spending did NOT support the Quit India Movement.
- Due to various reasons including effective arrests (over 100,000 arrests were made) by the British and lack of unity, the Quit India campaign was effectively crushed.
- Many students paid more attention to Subhas Chandra Bose, who was in exile and supporting the Axis Powers.
- The only outside support came from the Americans, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressured Prime Minister Winston Churchill to give in to some of the Indian demands.
- The British refused to grant immediate independence, saying it could happen only after the war had ended.
RASHTRIYA SWACHHATA KENDRA
Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology
Why in news?
- Prime Minister recently inaugurated the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra – an interactive experience centre on the Swachh Bharat Mission.
- The Prime Minister also launched ‘Gandagi Mukt Bharat’, a special week long campaign for swachhata in the run up to Independence Day, during which each day till 15th August will have special swachhata initiatives in urban and rural India to re-enforce the jan andolan for swachhata.
Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra (RSK)
A tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra (RSK) was first announced by the Prime Minister in 2017 on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of Gandhiji’s Champaran Satyagraha.
- The RSK will introduce future generations to its successful journey as the world’s largest behaviour change campaign.
- It will showcase the core elements of the mission and anecdotes on the journey of the country from Satyagraha to Swachchagrah.
- It will impart information, awareness and education on Swachhata (sanitation) and related aspects.
- RSK is an interactive experience centre on the Swachh Bharat Mission
- The installations at RSK will include audio visual immersive shows, interactive LED panels, hologram boxes, interactive games etc.
- The RSK has a balanced mix of digital and outdoor installations tracking India’s transformation from having over 50 crore people defecating in the open in 2014 to becoming open defecation free in 2019.
Swachh Bharat Mission
Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) or Clean India Mission is a country-wide sanitation campaign launched on the day of Gandhi Jayanti, 2014.
The Main objectives of SBM are:
- Elimination of open defecation,
- Eradication of Manual Scavenging,
- Implementing Modern and scientific municipal solid waste management and
- Bringing behavioural change regarding healthy sanitation practices.
The 2 missions of SBM
- Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban): Implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (M/o HUA) for urban areas. Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) recently achieved its target of creating Urban India Open Defecation Free (ODF)
- Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen): Implemented by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (M/o DWS) for rural areas. Swachh Bharat Mission (G) Phase-I: The rural sanitation coverage in the country has increased from 38.7% to 100%. More than 10 crore individual toilets have been constructed since the launch of the mission. All rural areas in all the States have declared themselves ODF as on 2nd October, 2019.
Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, presided over a review meeting with States/UTs on the “eSanjeevani” and “eSanjeevaniOPD” platforms.
- eSanjeevani platform has enabled two types of telemedicine services viz. Doctor-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani) and Patient-to-Doctor (eSanjeevani OPD) Tele-consultations.
- It is planned to implement tele-consultation in all the 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres (as spokes) in a ‘Hub and Spoke’ model, by 2022.
- Owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Ministry launched the second tele-consultation service enabling patient-to-doctor telemedicine through ‘eSanjeevaniOPD’.
- Offered at no cost, this e-health service is rapidly gaining popularity as citizens in around 20 States are now consulting doctors without having to go to the hospital physically.
- The telemedicine platform is hosting over 40 online OPDs, more than half of these are speciality OPDs which include Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Dermatology, ENT, Ophthalmology, antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the AIDS/HIV patients, Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) etc.
- In a landmark achievement, the national telemedicine service has completed more than 1,50,000 tele-consultations enabling patient to doctor consultations from the confines of their home, as well as doctor to doctor consultations.
- In a short span of time since November 2019, tele-consultation by eSanjeevaniand eSanjeevaniOPD have been implemented by 23 States (which covers 75% of the population) and other States are in the process of rolling it out.