Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - February 2, 2018

Budget – 2018-19 Agriculture Sector

Announcements

Minimum Support Price (MSP)

  • Extended to all crops(1.5 times their production cost)
  • MSP will be linked to production cost (M.S Swaminath recommendation)

    Operation Greens

  • To address price volatility of perishable commodities like potatoes, tomatoes and onions, at an outlay of Rs. 500 crore.
  • ‘Operation Greens’, on the lines of ‘Operation Flood’, shall promote Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management in the sector
  • 100% deduction in respect of profits to Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs), having turnover up to Rs. 100 crore, for a period of 5 years from FY 2018-19, in order to encourage professionalism in post harvest value addition in agriculture.

    Announcing the development and upgradation of existing 22,000 rural haats into Grameen Agricultural Markets (GrAMs

  • Strengthening of e-NAM and to expand coverage of e-NAM to 585 APMCs.
  • Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund with a corpus of Rs.2000 crore will be set up for developing and upgrading agricultural marketing infrastructure in the 22000 Grameen Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) and 585 APMCs

Announcing doubling of allocation for Ministry of Food Processing

  • Increased allocation for the sector, the Government will promote establishment of specialized agro-processing financial institutions in this sector and to set up state-of-the-art testing facilities in all the forty two Mega Food Parks
  • Bamboo as ‘Green Gold’

    • Re-structured National Bamboo Mission
    • Based on a cluster based approach to address the complete bamboo value chain and promote bamboo sector in a holistic manner.

    Health Care

    Ayushman Bharat for a new India -2022, Two major initiatives in health sector announced

    • The Government today announced two major initiatives in health sector , as part of Ayushman Bharat programme.
    • To address health holistically, in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both prevention and health promotion.

    The initiatives are as follows:-

    • Health and Wellness Centre

    The National Health Policy, 2017 has envisioned Health and Wellness Centres as the foundation of India’s health system. Under this 1.5 lakh centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people. These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services. These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. The Budget has allocated Rs.1200 crore for this flagship programme. Contribution of private sector through CSR and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres is also envisaged.

    • National Health Protection Scheme

    The second flagship programme under Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. This will be the world’s largest government funded health care programme. Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this programme.

    Launch of Gobar-Dhan Scheme announced to improve lives of villagers Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN)

    • In an effort to make the villages open defecation free and improving the lives of villagers,
    • The Minister added that this will manage and convert cattle dung and solid waste in farms to compost, bio-gas and bio-CNG.

    Education

    Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE)

    Rs. 1, 00, 000 Crore initiative to drive research and infrastructure over the next four years

    • ‘‘Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF)’’ Scheme.
    • 1,000 best B.Tech students will be identified from premier institutions each year and facilities will be provided to them to undertake Ph.D in IITs and IISc with an attractive fellowship.
    • Acknowledging the critical nature of the training of teachers during service, the Finance Minister also referred to the move to initiate an integrated B.Ed. programme for teachers.
    • By the year 2022, every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have an Ekalavya Model Residential School

    Sources – PIB, The Hindu