1. Indira Gandhi Matritva Poshan Yojana
- Indira Gandhi Matritva Poshan Yojana was recently announced by the Rajasthan Government on pilot basis in 4 districts.
About Indira Gandhi Matritva Poshan Yojana:
- It is a maternity benefit scheme, which will offer ₹6,000 for the birth of the second child.
- It aims to reach out to 75,000 beneficiaries annually. It estimates an expenditure of ₹45 crore per year.
- The State scheme will complement the Central government’s Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana which offers ₹5,000 for the birth of the first child.
- It will be implemented in Udaipur, Pratapgath, Banswara and Dungarpur, where nutrition indicators among children and anaemia levels among mothers are worse than the average for the State.
- The government feels that the second child doesn’t receive as much attention as the first child and, therefore, it is important to extend this cash benefit to ensure adequate nutrition for the Second Child.
About Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY):
- It is a maternity benefit rechristened from erstwhile Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY).
- It is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women.
- It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
2. National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 (NCIM)
- Rajya Sabha has recently passed the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 (NCIM).
- It seeks to repeal the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970.
About the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine:
- It will consist of 29 members, appointed by the central government. These posts will have a maximum term of four years. They will be recommended by a search committee.
- The Search Committee will consist of five members including the Cabinet Secretary and three experts nominated by the central government of which two should have experience in any of the fields of Indian System of Medicine.
Its Functions are:
- Framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals of Indian System of Medicine.
- Assessing the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure.
- Ensuring compliance by the State Councils of Indian System of Medicine of the regulations made under the Bill. Ensuring coordination among the autonomous boards set up under the Bill.
- Autonomous boards to be set up are Board of Ayurveda and the Board of Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-Rigpa; Medical Assessment and Rating Board for Indian System of Medicine; Ethics and Medical Registration Board.
- There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate education in each of the disciplines of the Indian System of Medicine in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill. It also proposes a National Teachers’ Eligibility Test for postgraduates of each discipline of Indian System of Medicine who wish to take up teaching that particular discipline as a profession.
3. Light Machine Guns (LMG)
Why in News?
- Ministry of Defence has recently signed Rs. 880 crore contract for Light Machine Guns (LMG) with Israeli firm.
- The Indian Armed Forces’ long-standing requirement of a modern state-of-the-art Light Machine Gun (LMG) has finally fructified.
- The name of the LMGs India is buying from Israel is called Negev. Negev is gas operated LMG.
- Negev 7.62X51 mm LMG is a combat proven weapon and currently used by several countries around the globe.
- It will greatly enhance the lethality and range of a soldier vis-a-vis the presently used weapon.
- It is a critically needed weapon that will provide much needed combat power to the Armed Forces.
- Light Machine Gun is used as squad automatic weapons. It is first used in Second World War. The weapon is important as it will boost the confidence of the frontline troops.
4. World Sparrow Day
- World Sparrow Day is celebrated to raise awareness about sparrows affected by the environment which are on the verge of extinction.
- On 20 March, World Sparrow Day is observed every year to raise awareness.
- The theme for World Sparrow Day is “I LOVE Sparrows” and is pictured like
- ” I ♥Sparrows“. It will remind people the love and bond with sparrows and encourage them to come forward.
About Nature Forever Society (NFS)
- It is an international initiative to celebrate World Sparrow Day. This Society works in the collaboration with Eco-Sys Action Foundation from France.
- It was founded by an Indian conservationist Mohammed Dilawar who started his work helping the house sparrows in Nasik. For his efforts, he was named “Heroes of the Environment” for 2008 by TIME Magazine.
5. Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) Advisories
Why in News?
- The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad has reported that Oceansat Satellite data from ISRO are used to prepare the PFZ advisories on the potential rich fishing areas and provide to the sea faring fishermen in all states.
Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ):
- This is the first advisory service started by INCOIS. The backbone of this service is the real-time data for ocean color and SST provided by the OCEANSAT and NOAA respectively.
- This service was started because there was a need to identify the potential fishing zones to help the fishermen to get better catch while they were at the sea.
- This service was started by the Ministry of Earth Sciences with the help of the Department of Space and several institutions under the Ministry of Agriculture.
How it Works?
- This service makes use of parameters such as sea surface temperature and chlorophyll content provided by NOAA-AVHRR and Oceancolor satellites.
- Features such as oceanic fronts, Meandering Patterns, Eddies, Rings, Up Welling areas etc. are identified sites for fish accumulation.
- These features can easily be identified from Sea Surface Temperature and Chlorophyll data.
- The availability of Chlorophyll from OCEANSAT and MOdDIS has further enriched these advisories in the recent years.
- Hence, PFZ advisories have helped the fishing community to locate the fishing zones with accuracy.
Special Advisories for Fisherman:
- Another feature of PFZ service is the generation of species-specific advisory to enable the fishermen folk to distinguish between the exploited and under-exploited species in the potential fishing zones.
- This enables them to have sustainable fishery management by targeting only the under-exploited species in the fishing zones.
- This approach enables them to avoid fishing the over-exploited species over and over again.
6. GreenCo Rating System
Why in News?
- The Union Ministry of Railways has informed about the applications of Greenco Ratings on Workshops and Production Units of Indian Railways.
- GreenCo Rating is the “first of its kind in the World” holistic framework that evaluates companies on the environmental friendliness of their activities using life cycle approach.
- Implementation of GreenCo rating provides leadership and guidance to companies on how to make products, services and operations greener.
- It is developed by Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre.
- It has been acknowledged in India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) document, submitted to UNFCCC in 2015.
- GreenCo rating is applicable to both manufacturing facilities and service sector units.
- The rating is implemented at unit or facility level. The unit or facility has to be in operation for a minimum period of 3 years. In case of new plants/ facilities minimum 2 years operation is required.
- It helps the industrial units in identifying and implementing various possible measures in terms of energy conservation, material conservation, recycling, utilization of renewable energy, GHG reduction, water conservation, solid and liquid waste management, green cover etc.
7. Flexi Fare System
Why in News?
- During the eight months period from 1st July 2019 to 29th February 2020, approximately 28.93 Lakh berths remained vacant in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto type trains having flexi fare.
Flexi Fare System:
- The flexi-fare scheme was introduced by the IRCTC in 2016 for the 142 “premium trains” such as Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto (now Vande Bharat Exp. as well).
- Under this dynamic pricing system, the base fare increases by 10% with every 10% of berths sold, with a limit set at 1.5 times the original price.
- The scheme was applicable to all classes, except AC first class and executive class. The pricing system is still in force.
Issues with the System:
- After the introduction of flexi-fares, the railways lost 700,000 passengers in just 11 months while the additional revenue earned as a result of the scheme was ₹ 552 crore.
- While drawing upon the fundamentals of dynamic pricing, what Indian Railways failed to introduce was the simple principle that flexi-fares work ways, hikes and declines.
- The railways model just focused on increasing fares with no provision for a decrease in price when demand is low.