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PIB Summaries 29 December 2023

  1. PM Vishwakarma Scheme
  2. Non-invasive Formaldehyde Sensor


Context:

An awareness programme on PM Vishwakarma scheme was organized by MSME-Development Office, Karnal, Government of India in Sonipat ,Haryana.

Relevance:

GS II: Government policies and Inerventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. PM Vishwakarma Scheme
  2. Benefits Offered by PM Vishwakarma Scheme
  3. Rationale Behind PM Vishwakarma Scheme

PM Vishwakarma Scheme

  • Background: PM Vishwakarma Scheme was initially announced by Prime Minister Modi in his Independence Day address.
  • Targeted Beneficiaries: The scheme is aimed at reaching economically marginalized and socially backward communities, particularly the Other Backward Classes (OBC) groups.
Key Details
  • Financial Allocation: The scheme has a total outlay of Rs 13,000 crore and is entirely funded by the Central government.
  • Objective: PM Vishwakarma Scheme intends to provide subsidized loans, with a cap of Rs 2 lakh, to traditional artisans and craftsmen. This includes various professions like weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, and barbers.
  • Enhancing Product Quality: A key goal is to enhance the quality and market reach of products and services offered by artisans and craftsmen.
  • Integration in Value Chains: The scheme aims to integrate Vishwakarmas (artisans) into both domestic and global value chains.
  • Nodal Ministry: The Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME) serves as the nodal ministry for the implementation of this scheme.
  • Support from Tribal Affairs: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will actively support the scheme’s execution to ensure the well-being of Vishwakarmas.
Eligibility and Coverage
  • Beneficiary Scope: PM Vishwakarma Scheme caters to both rural and urban artisans and craftsmen across India.
  • Detailed Beneficiary List: A comprehensive list has been formulated to define the specific beneficiaries under the scheme. This list encompasses 18 traditional crafts, including Boat Makers, Armourers, Blacksmiths, Hammer and Tool Kit Makers, among others.
  • Coverage: In the inaugural year, the scheme aims to benefit five lakh families, with the goal of extending its impact to 30 lakh families over the course of five years.

Benefits Offered by PM Vishwakarma Scheme

Registration and Recognition

  • Artisans will be registered for free using the biometric-based PM Vishwakarma portal, facilitated by Common Services Centres (CSC).
  • Recognition will be granted through the issuance of a PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card.

Skill Upgradation

  • Beneficiaries will receive skill upgradation through both basic and advanced training.

Toolkit Incentive

  • Artisans will be provided with a toolkit incentive amounting to ₹15,000.

Collateral-Free Credit Support

  • Financial support in the form of collateral-free credit will be offered.
  • The first tranche of credit support will be up to ₹1 lakh, and the second tranche will go up to ₹2 lakh.
  • Interest rates on these loans will be concessional, set at 5%.

Incentives for Digital Transactions and Marketing

  • Additional incentives will be given for conducting digital transactions and marketing support to promote the artisans’ products.

Toolkit Booklet and Training

  • A toolkit booklet has been created in 12 Indian languages, accompanied by video materials.
  • This educational resource will enhance artisans’ knowledge of new technologies in their respective fields.
  • The skilling program includes both basic and advanced training phases.
  • Participants will receive a stipend of ₹500 per day while undergoing training.

Rationale Behind PM Vishwakarma Scheme

Addressing Historical Challenges

  • Traditional artisans, who have been practicing their crafts for generations, often lack formal professional training, access to modern tools, proximity to relevant markets, and the necessary capital for investment.

Overcoming Training and Resource Gaps

  • The scheme aims to bridge these gaps by offering structured training, providing essential toolkits, and offering financial support to empower artisans to enhance their skills, access markets, and improve their livelihoods.


Context:

Recently, the Nanomaterials and Nanoelectronics Laboratory, Department of Physics, Guwahati University, Assam has developed a cost-effective formalin sensor that can effectively detect the presence of formalin in adulterated fishes.

Relevance:

GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Non-invasive Formaldehyde Sensor: Revolutionizing Detection Technology
  2. Formaldehyde: A Pungent, Industrial Gas

Non-invasive Formaldehyde Sensor: Revolutionizing Detection Technology

Sensor Composition:

  • Materials Used: Tin oxide-reduced graphene oxide composite (rGO-SnO2).

Key Components:

  • Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) for detecting various toxic gases and VOCs.
  • Tin oxide (SnO2) known for formaldehyde detection due to high stability and sensitivity.

Synthesis Process:

  • Wet chemical processing of Graphene oxide (GO).
  • Synthesis of rGO-SnO2 composite through a hydrothermal route followed by calcination.
Sensor Characteristics:
  • Effectiveness: Tin oxide decorated with reduced graphene oxide.
  • Detection: Efficient sensing of formaldehyde vapour at room temperature.
  • Stability: Long-term stability with a low detection limit.
  • Application: Non-invasive detection of formalin adulteration in fishes.
Comparison with Existing Sensors:
  • Commercial Sensors: Primarily electrochemical or colorimetric.
  • Issues: Expensive, invasive, and face challenges in low-level and selective detection.
Significance of the New Sensor:
  • 2D Materials Advantage: Leveraging 2D materials for gas sensors enhances the detection of toxic vapours at room temperature.
  • Potential Impact: Detection of formalin evaporation from adulterated food products, particularly in the fish industry.
  • Support: Research supported by DST-PURSE (Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence).

Formaldehyde: A Pungent, Industrial Gas

Characteristics:
  • Form: Colourless.
  • Odor: Pungent.
Applications:
  • Industrial Use: Integral in various industrial processes.
  • Food Industry: Used as a preservative, notably in fish preservation in developing nations.
Industrial Significance:
  • Preservative Role: Utilized for its preservative properties, extending the shelf life of certain food products.
  • Versatility: Employed in diverse industrial applications owing to its unique chemical properties.
Health Implications:
  • Exposure Concerns: Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde can have adverse health effects.
  • Respiratory Irritant: Known for its irritating effect on the respiratory system.
Global Usage:
  • Widespread: Found in various industrial and consumer products globally.
  • Concerns: The use of formaldehyde in certain applications raises health and safety concerns, necessitating accurate detection methods.
Detection Importance:
  • Adulteration Alert: Critical in identifying formalin adulteration, particularly in the fish industry.
  • Safety Assurance: Ensures compliance with safety standards and regulations in various sectors.

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